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One year later Guyzar, LLC is still patent trolling – you’re probably next

(BUSINESS NEWS) Patent trolling isn’t exactly new, but some shell companies seem to be out of control with the amount of lawsuits they’re filing. Guyzar is no exception. What will happen if reform doesn’t begin soon?

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To refresh your memory

Last December we told you about Guyzar, LLC, a Texas company, suing multiple corporations in rapid succession for violating a patent. Patent 5845070 A (‘070 in the suit), originally filed in 1996, was awarded in 1998, and recently acquired by Guyzer.

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The patent basically details a method of authenticating a user’s confidential information and preserves the confidentiality against unauthorized use, especially essential information used for logging in and out of websites (also known as OAuth). Indeed, it is probable that if your website uses any type of login (be it OAuth or otherwise) that stores user data, Guyzar could potential sue you as well.

One year later

While they do have the potential to sue a great number of individuals, corporations, and organizations, there may be something else going on here. We postulated that Guyzar was really just a patent troll waiting for their chance to carry out their lawsuits; and they have certainly carried them out.

If you aren’t familiar with the “patent trolls,” it’s a term used for shell companies that buy up patents with the purpose of suing major companies. While we frown on labeling anyone or anything without concrete evidence (and even then labels are subject to change), Guyzar certainly seems to fit the bill.

They’re trolling big fish

In 2015, we reported that Guyzer had filed suit against Internet giants such as Zillow, ESPN, Spotify, and Ebates, Inc. Some pretty big names for Guyzar to be going after. Recently, Guyzar re-directed their aim towards even more big businesses. This time taking aim at Living Social, Inc.; Vitacost.com, Inc.; Myspace LLC; Williams-Sonoma, Inc.; and Thrillist Media Group, Inc.

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There are several other businesses and organizations listed in Guyzar’s lawsuits, but these are a few of the bigger corporations they are targeting.

Indicative of a larger problem

Guyzar is only one example of a much larger problem, however. The patent system, along with the courts that support it, is still largely failing despite a few attempts to better the situation. Last year, on November 30, 196 patent suits were filed in Southeast Texas. The suspected reason behind this ridiculous increase in filings was a new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure amendment (number 84 to be specific) that went into effect on December 1, causing a massive compulsion to file.

Prior to the Dec. 1, 2015 amendment, plaintiffs could file “bare-minimum” patent complaints. While this small reform was a step in the right direction, it in no way fixes the larger problem.

More reform is needed to prevent patent trolls like Guyzar from running rampant and filing massive suits against companies for non-specific, bare-bones, violations.

While it seems unlikely any of Guyzar’s lawsuits will become anything more than just a filing, it does speak to the problems of patent trolls and frivolous lawsuits. If something is not done soon, these types of suits are likely to continue.

Since it is entirely possible Guyzar can (and will) sue not only large corporations, but also small businesses and individuals as well, the sooner some reform measures are taken, the better.

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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