This type of shit just boils my blood. From GigaOm:
Just days after Hipmunk’s June funding announcement, a company called i2z Technology LLC told the travel start-up that it has to buy a license for a 1994 patent that covers a method for displaying data in multiple computer windows.
Despite its high-tech sounding name, i2z is simply a Texas shell company run by a California lawyer that is targeting internet and travel companies including Kayak, Google, Yelp and Microsoft. Under i2z’s business model, known as patent trolling, firms that don’t make anything collect patents in order to extract licensing settlements from companies that do.
Hipmunk is just the latest target of a shell corporation whose only purpose is to sue innovative companies. Lodsys did the same thing to small iOS developers, and even big companies like Apple aren’t immune.
Developing an awesome technology and defending it is great, as is acquiring patents to protect yourself from a patent lawsuit (like what Facebook did when Yahoo sued it).
But creating a company for the sole purpose of snagging patents and suing other companies? Those people don’t even deserve to practice law. They’re the scum of the earth. We need to find a way to enact some real patent reform and end this despicable practice.
(Pardon my French, these people just piss me off.)
Image courtesy of Flickr, lintmachine