Enlarge / Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and founder of Kaspersky Lab, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
In October, Kaspersky Labs found itself in a situation familiar to many tech companies: it was sued (PDF) by a do-nothing patent holder in East Texas who demanded a cash settlement before it would go away.
The patent-licensing company, Wetro Lan LLC, owned US Patent No. 6,795,918, which essentially claimed an Internet firewall.

The patent was filed in 2000 despite the fact that computer network firewalls date to the 1980s.

The ‘918 patent was used in what the Electronic Frontier Foundation called an “outrageous trolling campaign,” in which dozens of companies were sued out of Wetro Lan’s “headquarters,” a Plano office suite that it shared with several other firms that engage in what is pejoratively called “patent-trolling.” Wetro Lan’s complaints argued that a vast array of Internet routers and switches infringed its patent.
Most companies sued by Wetro Lan apparently reached settlements within a short time, a likely indicator of low-value settlement demands. Not a single one of the cases even reached the claim construction phase.

But Kaspersky wouldn’t pay up.
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