Patent troll beats racketeering claim

Innovatio, a patent troll which shakes down hotels and coffee shops that operate Wi-Fi networks—and which regards the right to sue individual homeowners likewise as a 'strategic' decision—has emerged unscathed from a racketeering lawsuit and can return to extorting money from small businesses. Ars Technica's Joe Mullin:

Innovatio deliberately avoided targeting the actual manufacturers of Wi-Fi equipment, preferring to sue end-users. But in October, Cisco, Netgear, and Motorola teamed up to file an 81-page lawsuit [PDF] seeking to shut down Innovatio's patent-trolling project once and for all. Not only were the patents invalid, but the suit alleged Innovatio's whole campaign was a violation of the RICO anti-racketeering law. That law is more commonly used against crime families than patent holders. ... In the end, though, the idea of shutting down a patent troll with a RICO claim didn't work out. US District Judge James Holderman, who is overseeing the case, issued a 34-page order [PDF] last week throwing out the RICO claims.



  1. Time to get the patents formally invalidated, no? Or is that somehow not an option. (I did not RTFA, I’ll admit.)

  2. So, since the patents were invalid but they can continue their bogus claims, what could a business owner do? If this is a risk-free business for Innovatio, I don’t know why other companies cannot enter such ‘market’.

  3. I don’t see how they can get by with such general accusations — they should need to specify exactly what device/etc the end-user is employing that infringes on the patent.
    I assume that if one’s WIFI-hotspot/router/etc has either Broadcom or Qualcomm chips (i.e. licensed broadcom patents) that one should be able to tell them to shove off…
    My question is “What chipsets haven’t been licensed?”  Marvell? MediaTek? Quantenna? Redpine? Other?

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