The Patent Trolls are back and hitting the Hospitality Industry hard in California and what they view as their deep pockets. Learn what you need to know and the risks by reading this short informative article written by Michelman & Robinson, LLP enabling you can protect your property.
Patent assertion entities are companies that seek to enforce patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees. They focus on aggressive litigation tactics, often threatening to sue hundreds, even thousands, of companies. It seems that the patent troll, HawkTech’s, attention has recently turned to the hospitality industry in California. At least two of M&R’s clients have been on the receiving end of lawsuits that claim patent infringement related to nearly any process whereby video surveillance footage is transferred to, and stored, on a hard drive or storage device other than that involving the recording device.
Notably, one of these clients is a national chain, while the other is a single property location. This is an indicator that HawkTech is targeting all aspects of the industry. With the prevalence and fundamental importance of video surveillance in hospitality operations, HawkTech undoubtedly views the industry as a target with huge potential, and deep pockets.
Patent infringement litigation is expensive and rarely covered by insurance. HawkTech’s attorneys are attempting to leverage this for settlements because the majority of targets can’t afford (or don’t want to incur) the legal fees involved in fighting these dubious claims.
If your property is on the receiving end of one of these shake downs, you need to carefully assess the allegations that are being made. It is imperative that your hotel owner/management retain counsel to guide them through the process of deciding whether to stand firm and fight a questionable claim; or make the legitimate business decision to simply “pay the piper” and move on.