Rackspace Pushes Back Against Patent Troll, Sues IP Nav in Federal Court

Posted on June 21, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Rackspace is suing patent troll IP Nav and Parallel Iron in federal court in San Antonio, Texas Rackspace is suing patent troll IP Nav and Parallel Iron in federal court in San Antonio, Texas

Cloud hosting provider Rackspace announced on Thursday that it is suing patent troll IP Nav and Parallel Iron in federal court in San Antonio, Texas.

According to a blog post by Rackspace, it is asking the court to award Rackspace damages for breach of contract, and to enter a declaratory judgement that Rackspace does not infringe on any of Parallel Iron’s patents.

The background leading up to the lawsuit goes back to December 2010 when IP Nav, an agent to patent owner Parallel Iron, accused Rackspace of patent infringement. IP Nav told Rackspace it was unable to provide any details about which patents it was infringing unless it entered into a forbearance agreement. Rackspace negotiated a mutual forbearance agreement that would require either party to give 30 days’ notice before bringing suit. Parallel Iron then sued Rackspace in Delaware without providing any notice.

“Our goal with this lawsuit is to highlight the tactics that IP Nav uses to divert hard-earned profits and precious capital from American businesses. This time, the patent troll should pay us,” Alan Schoenbaum, Rackspace General Counsel said.

Rackspace has been on the receiving end of many patent infringement cases in recent years, seeing a 500 percent jump in legal spend fighting patent trolls since 2010. Earlier this week, Rackspace and Red Hat won a federal court decision granting early dismissal of a patent infringement claim brought by Uniloc USA.

According to recent research out of Boston University, patent trolls cost the US economy about $29 billion in 2011.

“As an organization of primarily small to medium sizes businesses we understand firsthand the devastating effects patent troll lawsuits have on our industry. Patent trolls undermine the ability of i2Coalition members to deliver the innovative products and services that enable the Internet economy and create jobs,” i2Coalition board chair and co-founder Christian Dawson said. “We will continue to educate our elected officials and fight the trolls until real patent reform becomes law. We applaud Rackspace’s efforts to confront one of the most aggressive patent trolls out there.  Not every company in our industry has the ability to take such action, and hopefully we can use cases like this as a megaphone to emphasize the ongoing threat posed by patent trolls and shine a light on their shameful behavior.”

Talk back: Do you think that Rackspace will win against IP Nav What is your perspective on patent trolls in the web hosting industry Let us know in a comment.

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