Vicinanza soon got in touch with the attorney representing Project Paperless: Steven Hill, a partner at Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, an Atlanta law firm.
“[Hill] was very cordial and very nice,” he told Ars. “He said, if you hook up a scanner and e-mail a PDF document—we have a patent that covers that as a process.”
Smaller and smaller companies are being targeted. In a paper on “Startups and Patent Trolls,” Prof. Colleen Chien of Santa Clara University found that 55 percent of defendants to patent troll suits are small, with less than $10 million in annual revenue. Even in the tech sector, a full 40 percent of the time, respondents to patent threats are being sued over technology that they use (like scanners or Wi-Fi) rather than their own technology.
Drew Curtis, CEO of Fark.com was sued for infringing on a patent that claimed to cover sending press releases out via email. He made a short five minute video describing how he beat them. You can find here: http://on.ted.com/Bxwq