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|21st February 2019, 14:02||#1|
Join Date: May 2010
Case of the man who would not be a troll
Even though a lot of people say he is
Inventor and ATL founder David Barcelou got so fed up with people labelling his firm a patent troll that he sued about a dozen individuals and organisations for libel in 2016.
Last year, a New Hampshire state judge dismissed Barcelou's lawsuit but now the New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments about whether to overrule the lower court's decision and allow the lawsuit to move forward.
According to Ars Technica if Barcelou succeeds other alleged patent trolls will flock to New Hampshire to sue their detractors for libel. Critics warn that if ATL's lawsuit succeeds, it could chill public debate about patent reform and violate the First Amendment.
ATL owns several patents related to automatic teller machines but hasn't tried to commercialise its technology in over a decade.
Instead, the firm has been sending out demand letters to banks and credit unions threatening to sue them if they don't license the patents. At its peak between 2011 and 2012, ATL's licensing campaign generated more than $3 million in licensing revenue.
In 2012, a federal appeals court ruled that several of ATL's key patent claims were invalid. Still, the American Bankers Association wrote that ATL continued to "assert those patents and sue banks across the country, including banks that do not even have ATMs."
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