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.