In recent months, many dealers have received a phone call or email from one of their customers who is being advised by letter that his (or her) company is violating numerous patents by scanning a document, sending it over a network and emailing it to others. The letter is from Project Paperless, HeaPle LLC or any of a number of shell entities claiming rights under what are commonly known as the "Laurence Klein" patents.
The letters are from law firms and others alleging the need for license fee payments. Sent by or on behalf of various licensing agents, the patent trolls seek fees based upon employee count. Fees demanded vary, but the average is $1,000. Patent trolls, as you might expect, are entities that seek to enforce a patent, but neither make a product nor perform a service. Their sole purpose is to enforce a patent that, very often, they did not originally file.
On May 16, an NBC affiliate in Connecticut aired a piece on patent trolls and interviewed BTA General Counsel Bob Goldberg. Click here to view the interview.
Update: The Vermont Attorney General has brought an action against MPHJ Technology Investments for false and deceptive practices. Click below for two articles about this action:
BTA has prepared an end-user educational pamphlet that dealers and others can share with customers as invoice stuffers and otherwise. The pamphlet is similar in nature to the one prepared for distribution several years ago, when the industry was facing the issue of data security related to the use of an MFP's hard drive.
This pamphlet can be customized to include your dealership's company logo and contact information. See the front and back view of the pamphlet below.
BTA has also made an informational flyer available for members to use on their websites or to send to customers. Click the links below for different formats to display this flyer:
BTA members: CLICK HERE to order your customized Patent Troll pamphlet featuring your company logo and contact information (where it says "Your Logo Here" in the sample below). Once you submit the form, email your company logo (at least 300 dpi) to Elizabeth Marvel at email@example.com.
BTA will email you the customized version, for you to print in house or at a local printer. Or, for a printing quote from BTA of your preferred quantity (100 or more) contact Valerie Briseno at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (800) 843-5059.
As a service to the industry at large, generic pamphlets
are available to members and non-member dealers. The provided document can be used to print the pamphlet at your location or local printer.
Front side of pamphlet:
Back side of pamphlet: