Cloud computing company RackSpace is no stranger to the extortion techniques used by patent trolls. After being sued over a rediculous patent infringement claim regarding a technology that enables rotating displays for mobile devices, RackSpace decided that enough was enough. The company turned down the $75,000 offer to settle the claim and instead chose the expensive and time consuming route of taking the troll to court and challenging the patent’s validity.
According to GigaOM, the notorious patent troll firm, Rotatable Technologies has become drunk with power, suing established tech companies like Apple, NetFlix, EA, and Whole Foods as well as numerous small start-ups. This time around RackSpace decided not to capitulate to the trolls demands to settle the case for cash, choosing to seek justice through the court system instead.
Patent trolls are experts at exploiting loopholes in the patent system. The US patent office has in effect allowed this behavior by rewarding the greed of corrupt lawyers instead of protecting the intellectual property developed by hard working inventors. Start-ups and established tech companies alike are taking steps to defend themselves against the patent troll epidemic. Several high profile business leaders have joined forces with the Electronic Foundation Frontier (EFF) to fight back against the attorneys that are stifling innovation and costing tech companies an immense amount of time and resources to defend.
As an iPhone application developer in Los Angeles it is a well known fact that patent trolls are stifling innovation and holding the tech industry hostage to their whims. The mobile app developer community can agree that this situation is dangerous, frightening, and infuriating. Allowing corrupt interest groups to fatten their own pockets while providing absolutely no economic value is unacceptable.Tags: EFF, extortion, lawsuits, mobile app developers, patent troll settlements, patent trolls, rackspace, Rotatable Technologies, US patent office