Seeing as they are a potential target for the next six years they'd effectively pay 20000/6 which rounds up to four grand a year that has to be much cheaper than the legal fees they'd incur if they were targeted.
Split that cost with a few other companies and it hardly costs a thing in the relative scheme of things. Makes for a good PR opportunity as well: "We will not sit idly by when others are bullied into paying licensing fees on such a nonsensical patent, effectively robbing the cradle of new businesses"
They have a freaking patent on converting different data types, patent US7886264B1 
Even though Apple has never acted as a patent troll, it doesn't mean their patent portfolio isn't potentially harmful and it could be used as such some time soon to maximize profits.
It wouldn't be the first time a once very successful company makes good profits by charging licensing fees on things way far away of their product line. I'm looking at you Microsoft... 
What is patented is not "a paper bag", but their particular method for constructing a paper bag.
Is their method obvious? Perhaps not.
Not even a letter to Congress signed by very important SV players did anything... 
At Unpatent we believe that big changes can be made using technology when legislation is clearly falling behind.
If you figure out a way to fix the patent system so no more stupid patents can be registered I'd be all ears :-)
The cost of unpatenting seems a lot lower than the gross extortion amount. And long-term it just might work as deterrent against patent trolls. Without politicians getting involved.
Donating here feels like funding the 'stupid patent' system.
$500/month to protect against a 0.1% chance of being sued by a patent troll over a 7 year period gives $42 million in expected value to fight a bogus patent when it does come up. Adjust the numbers to whatever's realistic.
It seems more sustainable than asking strangers to fund patent lawsuits.
What we are focused on right now is on diminishing patent portfolios so the lawsuit probability goes down. We have a lot of things in the pipeline that will make it easier for companies to be protected using Unpatent, that don't necessarily involve backing individual campaigns.
That is what I had figured... as an aside, I have been hearing complaints about young lawyers not being able to earn very much due to over saturation of the market- but it still sure costs a bunch to higher one of them! I would think if the market was so over-saturated, lawyers would lower their prices to better compete. (Of course, the various specialties may still have variances based on expertise). The over saturation thing must be a myth being spread by old lawyers trying to protect their earnings by discouraging new competition :)
Insurance that covers only legal fees should have the opposite effect.
And, it looks to have a great team behind it:
So, I'm curious, is Lee Cheng going to be the one going after Marc and his group, and is the $20k just to try to help pay his court expenses? Because, it seems like it's going to be a lot more expensive than that. I'm asking because there isn't much information about how the money will be used on the campaign page, and I think more would give if this were clearer.
Good luck to Unpatent in this! I think this is an inventive way to help start to solve this problem.
Something else that people could do is write to their representatives about it. These patent problems are solvable with law that penalizes organizations that try to blackmail organizations with patents that are overly broad.
We spend the crowdfunded money on the ex parte reexam PTO fees + lawyer fees (for preparing the filing) + rewarding the prior art searchers. As we're doing an ex parte, it's pretty cheap compared to an inter partes. The IPR one would be >$100k, while ex parte's minimum costs are about $16k. Ex parte has less success probabilities than an inter parte, but the fact that it's so cheap helps scaling the process so we can get rid of stupid patents at a good pace :)
Did they actually patent all possible methods and apparatuses to select products based on personal information? Or was the patent for one concrete method and apparatus that did so and just formulated intentionally vague?
So basically, the harder I make it to validate my patent, the higher is the likelihood that it will be granted? That's crazy.
This might also explain though why so many patents are written in such an incomprehensible way.
This shouldn't be a thing that needs to be praised, but sadly it's increasingly rare on new sites.
1. The main site has as banner, but it doesn't necessitate scrolling a full page to get to anything meaningful.