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Ask HN: Just got sued by patent troll – what should I do?
34 points by angkec on Aug 28, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments
Hi fellow hackers, I could use some help here. We developed an simple location sharing app 3~4 years ago, and got sued yesterday along with Apple, Google, Verizon, Sprint, T-mobile[1], Glympse[2] by some company called Remote Locator Systems LLC in Texas. They claim that we infringed their patent called "Method and Apparatus for Locating Personnel and Objects in Response to Telephone Inquiries". Any one know what we should do about it?

[1] Apple being sued: http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/28/apple-number-one-target-for-patent-trolls-with-171-cases-in-five-years/, last paragraph. For everyone being sued, just search for the patent name "Method and Apparatus for Locating Personnel and Objects in Response to Telephone Inquiries" and look at the top 10 results from Google.

[2] Us getting sued along with Glympse and 5 other companies: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9alxrfqg8iwcnpa/aries%20app.pdf




Talk to a lawyer

Here's an article from Monday with some advice.

http://www.fastcolabs.com/3016290/how-startups-should-handle...


This is the only answer that is needed for this question. Everything else are people playing arm chair lawyer.


> Everything else are people playing arm chair lawyer.

Preemptive rudeness. Classy.


The ignorant often confuse direct honesty and factual statements with rudeness, often to their detriment.


See whether any of your friends, preferably who run businesses like yours, have recommendations for a good lawyer for this area. Or, if they don't, whether they can recommend a good lawyer in another area who can recommend a good lawyer for patent law.


Thanks. We are contacting a lawyer now. Hopefully not gonna be very expensive for a $100/mo hobby app.


Thank you! I'll check it out.


Patent law needs to be overhauled. It's getting ridiculous. If you are successful you WILL be sued by a troll for infringing their "breathing air" patent.

I don't have advice, only sympathy.


I wonder whether what we need is, in fact, some sort of collective scheme - like a form of indemnity insurance. Patent trolls are stronger than individual companies, and rely on them not being able to fund the legal defence, but they're in no way stronger than even a small expense from all the companies that they might sue put together.


Thanks. Funny that we are not even remotely successful with the said app. Monthly sales of $150 range and it is strictly a hobby app since maintenance costs around $10/mo.


Sell it to them for a million dollars then.


Is this remotely possible? Just interested.


Our only hope at this point is that that company that got a patent on patent trolling will sue all the patent trolls out of business for violating their patent.


There's a specific type of a patent for that too[1]. Unfortunately unless your hypothetical saviour company filed it quite a while back I'm pretty sure there's too much "prior art" for this idea to work.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_method_patent


Just as a curiosity, do these patent trolls mainly target US companies? What is the environment like for patents and trolls in the EU for instance?


This EFF site is a good resource: https://trollingeffects.org/


Might want to send your story to Ken White, et. al., at http://www.popehat.com. If they get sufficiently interested/outraged, they can help set you find an appropriate lawyer in your area and can publicize your case. I'd also contact www.chillingeffects.org.


Thanks buddy! Will give them a try.




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