"Patent Trolls" Cost Companies Millions
Trolls sneak up and sue for rights that no one knew they had ======================================

Companies using a particular technology
assume that it's been cleared for
public consumption. But now groups
like the Texas Hotel and Lodge Association.
are finding themselves in hot
water instead. Legal counsel for that association Justin Bragiel says so called "patent trolls" sue companies for using a technology that no one knew they had the rights to.

"At the end of the day, we are standing
at the courthouse defending ourselves
over something that we really have
no control over," says Braigel.

Large Texas corporations
are promoting legislation against
patent trolls. They say the trolls
develop a patent for
something that they have no
intention of manufacturing,
creating the patent just to make

Rackspace reports they've been
the victim: employing a technology
then seeing the troll
rear its ugly head and demand
money ... lots of money. Alan
Schoenbaum is legal counsel
for Rackspace.

"Rackspace got involved in the 'patent troll'
wars because we have been sued several
times and these trolls have shaken us
down for several hundreds of thousands
of dollars and finally, we have had enough."

Whataburger says the reason there is no wi-fi inits restaurants is a fear of patent trolls, who have sued other companies, claiming they holdpatents on wi-fi technology.

"Most of the time you are buying a piece of equipment thathas software or hardware in it that's been patented," VP Michael Gibbs said."We just decided to skip it altogether.  We were afraid we would just bebuying a lawsuit."

Gibbs told 1200 WOAI news the company was afraid that patent trools would jump up and sue them for payment, as has happened with other firms.