Patent trolls are aplenty and what they usually do is they go after companies with vague patents claiming that said companies had infringed upon their patents and they are now suing them. This is usually done so that companies will rush for a quick settlement as opposed to a long and drawn out legal proceeding.
Well it looks like one patent troll could be getting a taste of their own medicine, sort of. A while ago, a company called Linex Technologies went after tech companies such as Apple and HP, claiming that they had infringed upon their patents. They initially went through the ITC but dropped the lawsuit after a staff attorney decided that no patents were infringed.
They tried their luck with the Northern District of California but the judge there also ruled that the companies had not infringed upon the patents in question. However in response to that, the companies who were being sued then petitioned the judge that Linex Technologies had to pay their attorney fees.
Bad news for Linex Technologies because the judge did acquiesce to their request and now it looks like the company has to fork out $3.6 million to Apple and HP each, and $3.8 million each to the other three companies involved in their lawsuit, all of which amounts to a whopping $18.6 million – ouch! The judge has also ruled that “Linex was not free to pursue another case targeting the same technology with impunity. Patent litigation is a burdensome venture for all parties involved.”