Patent Troll Attorney Licensed Patents To Be Used Against His Own Firm's Clients
from the gotta-keep-the-company-busy dept
Then the details started to come out. It appears that a top partner at Fish & Richardson was filing for patents on the side and then licensing them out to patent trolls, often so that they would then sue companies -- including companies represented by his own employer, Fish & Richardson. Now, I know I said that I'm not a fan of the term "patent troll," but in this case it appears completely warranted, as the very same Scott Harris happens to run a website (currently taken down) called ImAPatentTroll.com. If he's okay with it, then I see no reason not to use it to describe him. Fish & Richardson fired Harris, but the story doesn't end there. Illinois Computer Research isn't just suing Google... it's also suing Fish & Richardson for supposedly trying to get Harris to get it to drop the suit. Now, Fish & Richardson has filed quite a response, claiming that Harris used company time, equipment and resources to file for a bunch of patents -- and then, rather than just licensing or selling those patents, would work out special deals with the companies he licensed the patents to, allowing him (personally) to get a cut of any legal wins those firms get in suing for infringement. He even would point out firms that might be infringing on the patent. Many of the negotiations for those relationships were done using his Fish & Richardson email -- even one email discussion that pointed out that Google (again, an F&R client who Harris had even done some work for) was potentially infringing on Harris' patent and could be a good target for a lawsuit. Welcome to the lovely world of patent extortion, where the money from the practice is so lucrative that one of the highest paid lawyers at a top law firm would quietly license his patents to be used against his own firm's clients in exchange for a cut of the profits.