Cisco lawyer reveals himself as Patent Troll Tracker blogger amid 'threats'

A Cisco patent lawyer has outed himself as author of the blog Patent Troll Tracker, a vocal critic of so-called patent trolls, a

 derogatory term for companies that acquire and license intellectual property and assert them in court to win damages from vendor companies. Patent Law blog has posted up this picture of Patent Troll Tracker Cisco IP Director Rick Frenkel. In his blog posting of Feb 23. Patent Troll Tracker writes: I got an anonymous email, from the guy who probably collected the bounty [offered by Ray Niro of Niro, Scavone, Haller & Niro], telling me I better tell everyone who I am (and he clearly knew), or else he would take care of it for me. The clear threat in the email is that he would do it in a way I wouldn't be happy about. I don't know what that means, but as I have been growing weary of anonymity anyway, here I am."

He adds that although his direct manager at Cisco knew about the blog, the content was his own. "Nobody at Cisco ever wrote any content for me or made any attempts to edit me, nor was anyone up the chain above my direct manager aware that I was the author."

Cisco itself is very vocal in its fight for patent reform of what it describes as the "abuses" of the current patent system. According to a statement about patent reform on its Web site, Cisco states: "The patent litigation system today is unbalanced and patent speculators are exploiting the system's unfairness to coerce high settlements from productive companies. The patent litigation rules function less and less as a neutral system for resolving disputes, and instead encourage winner-take-all, jackpot-like strategies. These lawsuits rob our economy of billions of dollars that would otherwise be invested in jobs, innovation, consumer savings and shareholder value."

Cisco earlier this month was one of a string of network vendors, includig Linksys, Foundry Networks, Extreme Networks and 3Com, that were sued by Network-1 Security Solutions for infringement of a remote power patent. Network-1 "acquires and licenses intellectual property "to maximize its value for the benefit of our investors and inventors," according to its Web site.

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