Patent Trolls Jeopardize Public Safety; Victims Urge Congress to Legislate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Chris Grimm - chris.grimm@dcimpactgroup.com

Patent Trolls Jeopardize Public Safety;
Victims Urge Congress to Legislate

More than 40 Companies Providing Life Saving Technology Threatened by Single Troll

Washington, D.C. (September 15, 2015) – The Application Developers Alliance and several small companies sued by 911 Notify, a notorious patent troll, today called on Congress to swiftly pass patent reform legislation.  Gulfstream Telematics LLC (Colo.), LifeLine Response (Ill.), MobileTREC Corporation (Calif.), CarShield Services Inc. (Calif.), ICEdot (Okla.), and more than 40 other public safety providers sued by 911 Notify since 2013, connect the elderly, children and families to first responders and emergency contacts in the event of a life-threatening event.

"I started my business to save lives and give families peace of mind,” said Peter Cahill, Founder of LifeLine Response. “911 Notify jeopardizes my mission, my business, and the lives of the American public. LifeLine Response is the missing tier in the 911 infrastructure, providing an innovative solution to a problem that every carrier in the U.S. could not solve. Only patent reform legislation can help protect innovators that make a difference from the extortionate business practices of patent trolls."

Patent trolls use broad, never-should-have-been-issued patents to threaten, intimidate and extort businesses into paying licensing fees by promising a long and costly legal battle should the business refuse. Abusive patent enforcement threats and litigation distract innovators, chill investment, and waste extraordinary amounts of capital that could be used to build products and grow companies. For tech startups and app developers, responding to abusive patent trolls significantly harms growth and can bankrupt a business.

“Despite assertions that recent Supreme Court decisions have adequately addressed frivolous and abusive patent litigation, the evidence shows that patent trolls continue to harass small businesses with crippling litigation, including attacking companies that save lives,” said Alliance President, Jon Potter. “Instead of investing in innovative products and services, patent trolls profit off of threats and coercion. It is time for Congress to reform our patent laws and prevent these parasites from further undermining the system that made the United States the world’s most dynamic and innovative economy.”  

The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted 911 Notify a patent on the idea of notifying family, friends and first responders that there is an emergency and someone has called for help. According to letters sent from the companies to members of both chambers of Congress, “911 Notify is using that patent like a bludgeon to tax our innovation, raise prices on American consumers, and literally put us out of business.”

The letter to the House can be found here and the letter to the Senate can be found here.  

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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.