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Wednesday, 15 January 2014 11:37

Patent troll cuts deal

Written by Nick Farrell



Still allowed to troll

MPHJ Technology, the "patent troll" outfit run by Texas lawyer with the name Mac Rust, has cut a deal with the New York attorney general. Rust has been mailing firms claiming that any modern networked office that can scan documents to e-mail owes him $1,000 or more per employee.

The New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, has denounced MPHJ's tactics as "abusive," and the new settlement requires paybacks to any New York business who paid for a license. Oddly, though the deal will continue to allow Rust to continue sending licensing letters to New York businesses.

The new letters are signed by MPHJ Technology and Mac Rust and don't include any cash demand or drafted complaints like earlier letters sent out. And a new letter doesn't boast about a "positive response" received from other businesses, since almost none have purchased licenses.

"If you do conclude that you have a system that infringes, we are prepared to offer a license," says the new light-touch "First Letter."

"You may contact us in that instance to discuss that possibility."

The settlement shows that Mac Rust bought the patents from another patent assertion company for one dollar in 2012.

Nick Farrell

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