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Blackbird’s specific lawsuit against Cloudflare accuses it of violating U. Kaufmann hasn’t responded to a request for comment for this story, but a patent record shows he sold the patent last October for

Blackbird’s specific lawsuit against Cloudflare accuses it of violating U. Kaufmann hasn’t responded to a request for comment for this story, but a patent record shows he sold the patent last October for $1 plus “other good and valuable consideration” to Blackbird, which is also using the patent to sue another startup called Fastly. So-called non-practicing entities — or holders of a patent for a process or product that they don’t plan to develop — often use them to sue companies that would sooner settle rather than pay what can add up to $1 million by the time a case reaches a courtroom.Prince calls Blackbird uniquely dangerous because its founders’ law backgrounds make it even easier for the outfit to sue companies like Cloudflare; they needn’t pay an attorney to represent their interests.

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Blackbird’s specific lawsuit against Cloudflare accuses it of violating U. Kaufmann hasn’t responded to a request for comment for this story, but a patent record shows he sold the patent last October for $1 plus “other good and valuable consideration” to Blackbird, which is also using the patent to sue another startup called Fastly. So-called non-practicing entities — or holders of a patent for a process or product that they don’t plan to develop — often use them to sue companies that would sooner settle rather than pay what can add up to $1 million by the time a case reaches a courtroom.

Prince calls Blackbird uniquely dangerous because its founders’ law backgrounds make it even easier for the outfit to sue companies like Cloudflare; they needn’t pay an attorney to represent their interests.

plus “other good and valuable consideration” to Blackbird, which is also using the patent to sue another startup called Fastly. So-called non-practicing entities — or holders of a patent for a process or product that they don’t plan to develop — often use them to sue companies that would sooner settle rather than pay what can add up to

Blackbird’s specific lawsuit against Cloudflare accuses it of violating U. Kaufmann hasn’t responded to a request for comment for this story, but a patent record shows he sold the patent last October for $1 plus “other good and valuable consideration” to Blackbird, which is also using the patent to sue another startup called Fastly. So-called non-practicing entities — or holders of a patent for a process or product that they don’t plan to develop — often use them to sue companies that would sooner settle rather than pay what can add up to $1 million by the time a case reaches a courtroom.Prince calls Blackbird uniquely dangerous because its founders’ law backgrounds make it even easier for the outfit to sue companies like Cloudflare; they needn’t pay an attorney to represent their interests.

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Blackbird’s specific lawsuit against Cloudflare accuses it of violating U. Kaufmann hasn’t responded to a request for comment for this story, but a patent record shows he sold the patent last October for $1 plus “other good and valuable consideration” to Blackbird, which is also using the patent to sue another startup called Fastly. So-called non-practicing entities — or holders of a patent for a process or product that they don’t plan to develop — often use them to sue companies that would sooner settle rather than pay what can add up to $1 million by the time a case reaches a courtroom.

Prince calls Blackbird uniquely dangerous because its founders’ law backgrounds make it even easier for the outfit to sue companies like Cloudflare; they needn’t pay an attorney to represent their interests.

million by the time a case reaches a courtroom.Prince calls Blackbird uniquely dangerous because its founders’ law backgrounds make it even easier for the outfit to sue companies like Cloudflare; they needn’t pay an attorney to represent their interests.

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The CEO of Cloudflare, an internet security company and content delivery network in San Francisco, was behind his desk when the emails began to trickle in, slowly at first, then in bursts.

College classmates-turned-defense attorneys, including from the University of Chicago, where Prince had nabbed his law degree years earlier, were reaching out to say hello and to ask: did Prince perhaps need help to fight a lawsuit they’d seen filed against Cloudflare in Delaware?

He admits readily that publicly taking on this “dangerous new breed of patent troll” — a fight that Cloudflare has blogged about extensively — is good for business.

It’s also good for recruiting talent into the company, which has 250 employees at its headquarters and runs smaller offices in Boston and Champaign, Illinois, among other spots.

Part of its campaign involves highlighting the backgrounds of Blackbird co-founder Wendy Verlander, a litigator previously with Wilmer Hale, as well as her co-founder, Chris Freeman, formerly of Kirkland & Ellis, to “pro innovation” state legislators in both Massachusetts and Illinois, where Blackbird has offices.

Its argument to these individuals: that every lawyer must pass an ethics exam that states it’s a violation for an attorney to “acquire a cause of action,” then to go and sue someone over it.As far as he was concerned, this was war, and he was ready for it.In many ways, what has transpired since resembles a battle that began brewing exactly 10 years ago, when the online computer and electronic retailer Newegg was hit with a lawsuit by Soverain Software, a non-practicing entity that has attacked major tech companies for more than a decade.When it asked Newegg for million in damages, it might have imagined extracting some amount of money from the company easily. Not only might the amount have destroyed the company, which is now 16 years old, Newegg, which viewed Soverain as an extortionist, opted against settling for fear the decision would invite future patent suits.Newegg began its fight against Soverain alongside seven other retailers that were sued using the same patent. It went to court and it argued that its shopping cart did not infringe on the patent of Soverain — which has itself never made a sale.Already, Cloudflare has created a ,000 prior art bounty — one matched by an anonymous donor who has pitched in an additional ,000 — that it will begin paying out in several weeks, says Prince.

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