Monday, December 27, 2010

The rise of the non-profit troll -- Excelsior!

Now, anyone who's been around patent litigation for even a few years gets used to Marshall, Texas being the center of the universe (check out Bodacious Bar B Que -- you'll thank me) and get's used to patent trolls from all over California setting up a shell company in Longview or Tyler to sue a bunch of Taiwanese and Korean electronics companies on another WiFi or smartphone patent. That's old hat these days.

But I must admit that the two cases brought the other day by a troll called Azure Networks against Nokia, H-P and the usual suspects surprised me. Named as a co-plaintiff (and, evidently the owner of the patent) is the non-profit Tri-County Excelsior Foundation, described as a "supporting organization" to a very worthy charity -- CASA of Harrison County (which helps abused kids). I don't know whether this is part of Azure's owner's tax planning strategy, a fundraising mechanism for CASA or both, but I did find this pretty unusual.

No comments: