Apps Alliance and Major Law Firm Help Small Business Escape Patent Lawsuit

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Contact: Michelle Lease – Michelle@appdevelopersalliance.org

Apps Alliance and Major Law Firm Help Small Business Escape Patent Lawsuit

Dentons’ Pro Bono Representation is Critical

Washington, D.C. (July 31, 2015) – When a patent assertion entity sued small California tech company, Hacom LLC, it likely anticipated an easy settlement and payoff.  But instead, with pro bono assistance from the Dallas, TX office of Dentons US LLP (“Dentons”), the case was dismissed and the small company has returned to its daily business.

Wetro Lan LLC owns a business method patent that essentially claims exclusive rights to deploy firewalls. Wetro Lan sued Hacom LLC for infringing the patent by making and selling technology products that include security features. Hacom, which has three employees, emailed the App 

Developers Alliance and requested assistance from the Alliance Patent Troll Defense Network. The Alliance connected Hacom with Dentons Partner Steven Geiszler, and the case ended relatively quickly after Dentons agreed to pro bono representation.

"I am thankful to the Apps Alliance and Dentons. Without their help, I would have had to shut down my business since all of my resources would have been diverted to defending against the lawsuit," said Hacom owner Bao Ha.  "Defending against patent troll litigation can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars—money I don’t have."

“Bao needed our help,” said Steven Geiszler of Dentons. “He tried negotiating with the plaintiff on his own, but many patent plaintiffs negotiate settlements based on litigation costs and defendants’ perceived ability to pay, rather than the technical merits of the patent or its assertion.” Geiszler, Kevin Greenleaf and Juanita DeLoach comprised the Dentons team that represented Hacom. 

“The Alliance is thrilled that we were able to connect Dentons, an extraordinary law firm, with a smallclient in need,” said Jon Potter, President of the App Developers Alliance. “Too many startups and small innovators are forced to pay unjustified royalties when threatened and sued, which is why we started the Patent Troll Defense Network two years ago.”

On June 25, 2015, plaintiff Wetro Lan LLC filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal in its case against Hacom. But Wetro Lan continues as a plaintiff in more than 50 lawsuits against other technology companies offering firewall products.

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The Apps Alliance is a non-profit global membership organization that supports developers as creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. We promote app industry growth and advocate on behalf of our members on public policy and industry issues. The Apps Alliance serves more than 36,000 individual members and more than 200 companies, including app publishers, platforms, wireless carriers, hardware manufacturers, ad networks, enterprise tools and service providers.