BUSINESS

Are patent trolls calling the shots in the state of Kentucky?

TAGs: kentucky domain name case, patent troll

Patent-Trolls-KentuckyThere’s sound reasoning behind the oft-stated position of governments across the globe that they don’t negotiate with terrorists, hostage-takers or any others who might demand money in exchange for leaving you alone or returning something of yours they’ve managed to get their grubby hands on. Which brings us to the sorry state of Kentucky, who recently added PartyGaming to their list of online poker operators they hope to shake down in exchange for the safe return of these companies’ domain names. In this regard, Kentucky officials are skirting dangerously close to the modus operandi of US patent trolls, who have turned extortion into a profitable business model.

There are several possible reasons why Kentucky singled out PartyGaming in this case. Party people previously paid blood money to the US Department of Justice, so Kentucky might view Party as an ATM card with the PIN number written on the back. Also, because Party’s delicate merger negotiations with Bwin are still ongoing, Party will be worried that investors might freak out at the sight of American officials bearing subpoenas, so Party will want this matter resolved before it can muck up their wedding plans. (This is yet another reason why the publicly traded model is the wrong one for our industry, and why the private operators aren’t complaining so loudly about this development.) Read more.

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