Cloudflare goes berserk on next-gen patent troll Blackbird, vows to utterly destroy it using prior-art bounties

Rather than a corporation that hires outside lawyers to pursue infringement claims, Blackbird is a small law firm strapped to a war chest of patents. It is an all-in-one form-filling, claim-filing robot. It has no extra baggage and no expensive legal bills to pay, making it a rather lean and mean machine.

“In the past, patent trolls had to hire lawyers and law firms,” Prince said. “These guys do away with it entirely and have the owner be a law firm themselves.”

Because Blackbird is owned by the attorneys who pursue its cases, Prince explained, they are able to file lawsuits without having to worry about lawyer fees. This, he said, allows them to scoop up patents on the cheap and fire off multiple “lottery ticket” infringement claims for nothing more than the court filing fees. It allows for a machine-gun attack on companies, with patent infringement claims the bullets.

“This is a unique case. They pose an amplified risk to innovative companies everywhere,” Prince said. “You can see by the volume of the lawsuits they filed, they have optimized patent trolling to a level that can inflict maximum damage.”

Now, instead of just fighting to invalidate the single patent in their case, Cloudflare is backing a campaign to have all of Blackbird’s patent holdings – roughly 70 of them – declared invalid for future litigation.

To achieve this, Cloudflare has ring-fenced $50,000 in bounties for prior-art proof to challenge Blackbird’s holdings. Of that prize pot, $20,000 will pay those who find prior art on the ‘335 patent, and $30,000 for other patents.

In addition, Prince says Cloudflare plans to file with the state bar associations in Illinois and Massachusetts, where Blackbird’s principal attorneys reside, alleging that by owning the patents they litigate, Blackbird lawyers are committing clear ethical violations

Source: Cloudflare goes berserk on next-gen patent troll, vows to utterly destroy it using prior-art bounties


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