New York Times tangles with patent trolls, article.
The New York Times Co. is engaged in a pitched legal battle with two such “trolls.” One is Helferich Patent Licensing LCC, a Chicago shell firm that claims to own the process for sending links to mobile phones — basically where a company sends a customer a text message. According to the Associated Press, the firm typically demands $750,000 to go away, a fee that it has already collected from dozens of firms like Apple and Disney.
Such demands place companies like the New York Times in a difficult position. The patents in these type of cases are often spurious but it can cost millions to prove that they are, meaning it’s cheaper to simply pay up. If a company pays, the troll can then use the money to target other companies.
And here I thought the real estate loans business had ethics issues!