Jerry Weinberger was in the patent trolling business before it was cool—in fact, before anyone had even been called a "patent troll."
Weinberger and his company, Rates Technology Inc., (RTI) began suing over a small batch of patents in the mid-90s. Ultimately, they filed 89 suits before the year 2000 (only Jerome Lemelson was a heavier patent litigant at that time). Using a small batch of patents, Rates Technology stayed on the top ten list of "non-practicing entities" through 2010, according to statistics [PDF] compiled by PatentFreedom.
This week, Weinberger and his lawyer took an unusual step: asking for a hearing at the Supreme Court. In recent years the court hasn't been very friendly to patent owners in general—and it certainly hasn't been sympathetic to the non-practicing companies that get called patent trolls. (In the few interviews he's given, Weinberger vociferously disputes the idea that he's any kind of patent troll; a call and e-mail to his lawyer today were not returned.)
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