TechCrunch

Editor’s note: Leonid (“Lenny”) Kravets is a patent attorney at Panitch, Schwarze, Belisario and Nadel, LLP in Philadelphia, PA. Lenny focuses his practice on patent prosecution and intellectual property transactions in computer-related technology areas. He specializes in developing IP strategy for young technology companies and blogs on this topic at StartupsIP. Follow Lenny on Twitter @lkravets.

Patent assertion entities (PAEs or trolls) regularly engage in the practice of sending patent demand letters to unsuspecting startups and small businesses in preparation for going after much larger entities. A patent demand letter is typically sent by a patent holder to a company it believes is infringing the patent, and in the letter, PAEs offer a license to the patent. Typically, such demand letters ask for an upfront payment for past damages and royalties on sales going forward. Small businesses receiving such demand letters often lack the overhead necessary…

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