ODA offers patent troll insurance to CAD firms

How the Electronic Freedom Foundation views patent trolls. (Image: EFF)

The Open Design Alliance (ODA) has joined LOT Network, a non-profit community of companies that builds a protective barrier for its members against patent assertion entities (PAEs or “patent trolls”).

PAEs are companies that acquire patents from third parties and attempt to profit from them through litigation against potential infringers. ODA says PAEs extract billions of dollars per year from the U.S. economy, while producing no actual products.

LOT Network protects its members against patent troll lawsuits using more than two million patent assets and counting. If any of these falls into the hands of a PAE, LOT Network members receive a license to that patent, meaning the PAE will not be able to sue members for alleged infringement of that patent.

LOT Network currently protects its members from litigation from over 2.2 million worldwide patents and counting. Network members include market leaders such as IBM, Google, Tesla, Canon, Toyota, Microsoft, Epic Games and Disney, as well as innovative companies across all high-tech industries.

“Currently the CAD and BIM industries are not heavily represented among LOT Network membership—we’d like to change that,” commented Neil Peterson, ODA President. “The cost of frivolous patent litigation is an unnecessary tax on the industry, one that we would like to see eliminated.”

LOT Network, in a move to jump-start protections in the CAD and BIM industries, is offering ODA members who join via their website a free 2020 membership. Membership is also currently free for any company with less than $25 million in annual revenue.

“Due to the convergence of technologies, patent troll lawsuits can affect all industries—including CAD and BIM, both of which heavily leverage software,” said Ken Seddon, CEO of LOT Network. “We applaud ODA’s leadership in joining LOT Network, a move that helps signal to the industry at large that low-cost immunization from potential costly patent litigation is a best practice in protecting a company’s innovation.” 

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