The Montreal-based digital signage software firm BroadSign has taken the somewhat unusual approach of announcing to its industry brethren that it’s going after a company it regards as a patent troll.
In a note from CEO and principal shareholder Burr Smith, the company says T-Rex Property AB has, since 2012, filed 59 cases (and counting) against digital signage media owners and vendors for alleged patent infringement. What began as a few filings against some of the larger publishers in our space has increased in scope to affect our industry, says Smith.
BroadSign, Smith continues, has brought an action for declaratory judgment against T-Rex, as we believe that we do not infringe their patents. Furthermore, we doubt that their patents are valid, based on our extensive review and findings of prior art.
In the coming weeks, BroadSign will undertake the necessary actions to challenge the validity of T-Rex patents. We invite the cooperation of the digital signage industry in this undertaking. Should you wish to learn more about the situation, if you are directly or indirectly affected by T-Rex’s actions, if you would like to assist or cooperate in our efforts, I invite you to speak with me directly.
Let’s do the right thing to stop T-Rex’s activities and show patent trolls that we will prevent similar distractions from preying upon our industry in the future.
I’ve asked BroadSign what industry cooperation might entail, but have not heard back. I know in some discussions with others who’ve gone to battle with these trolls – generally described as companies who are not directly in the business and seemingly exist only to assert acquired patents and seek compensation – that cooperation between companies can be its own can of worms better left unopened.
If you look over the T-Rex site, it at least appears the company IS in this business. Billboard Insider has some background on what the firm is all about and where it came from …
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.