Stay Safe From QR Code Patent Trolls: A Guide for Businesses

Update:  December 13, 2023
Stay Safe From QR Code Patent Trolls: A Guide for Businesses

QR code patent trolls lurk in the rapidly evolving intellectual property landscape, waiting to exploit innovative businesses for their gain by asserting dubious patent claims and demanding financial settlements.

The widespread usage of QR codes has caught the attention of patent trolls, who claim patent infringement and demand monetary compensation from businesses using online QR code generator platforms in their operations.

Read the article below to learn how to equip your brand with the knowledge needed to safeguard your brand’s interests from patent trolls and maintain its competitive edge. 

QR codes and the patent troll scam

QR code patent troll

QR codes have revolutionized how businesses interact with their audience, enabling seamless connections and enhanced experiences in marketing promotions and interactive content.

One main reason for their popularity is their convenience: People only need a mobile device to scan them and the Internet to access their information, although some QR codes—like static ones—won’t require users to be online.

Different industries now use QR code marketing strategies, which are more efficient since there are about 5.25 billion smartphone users worldwide today and an estimated 60% of the world’s population use mobile devices to go online (Statista).

However, the rise of an alarming trend casts a shadow on this innovative technology: the QR code patent troll scam.

Patent infringement suits against QR code users

Across diverse industries, companies that use QR codes to enhance their products, services, and marketing campaigns have found themselves in the crosshairs of patent infringement suits. 

Shockingly, patent trolls filed 64% of patent lawsuits for different companies and 88% in the high-tech space in the first three quarters of 2022 alone.

Defendants range from food, clothing, and product retailers to financial services companies, hotels, insurance firms, and consumer product manufacturers. 

These legal battles disrupt business operations and raise concerns about the exploitation of patent claims.

Denso Wave’s stance: No patent infringement claim on QR codes

Amidst the torrent of patent infringement suits, it is noteworthy that Denso Wave engineer and QR code inventor Masahiro Hara has NOT claimed patent infringement against companies using this technology. 

Denso Wave’s silence on patent infringement of QR codes raises questions about the legitimacy of claims made by opportunistic patent trolls. 

This stance implies that QR codes’ foundational concept and functionality are not subject to patent infringement claims. 

Still, such claims would only apply to unique and novel features or elements covered by valid patents.

The boundaries of patent infringement: unique and novel features

It is essential to understand that infringement would only occur when there is a violation of unique and novel features of QR codes protected by patents. 

It is essential to consider areas such as the freedom of users and the driving QR code innovation incentive to comprehend the parameters of patent infringement within QR code technology.

The original patent registered under Denso Wave covers specific inventive elements, and the mere use of QR codes’ basic functionality and widespread adoption does not constitute patent infringement. 

It is crucial to distinguish between the broader concept of QR codes and the patented features that fall within the boundaries of infringement claims.

Navigating the unpatented QR code landscape

For businesses using QR code generator software, it is crucial to understand the absence of patents for many QR code solutions and their implications. 

By acknowledging that not all features of QR codes are considered novel, businesses can confidently leverage QR code technology without fear of patent infringement claims. 

But it is essential to remain vigilant and stay updated on any emerging patents that may impact the use of QR code technology in the future.

The absence of patents for QR code solutions

Despite their widespread adoption, it may come as a surprise that not all QR code solutions have patents. 

While the basic concept and functionality of QR codes have existed for some time, the absence of patents for specific QR code solutions leaves them vulnerable to exploitation. 

This absence stems from not all QR code features meeting the novelty and uniqueness criteria required for patent ownership protection. 

As a result, businesses may use QR code technology without infringing on any patented elements.

The impact of patent troll scams

The lack of patents for many dynamic QR code solutions directly affects the landscape of patent troll scams. 

Patent trolls seeking easy targets for financial gain often exploit businesses based on the assumption that they infringe on patented technology. 

However, companies are less susceptible to these deceptive claims without patents covering the specific features used in their QR code solutions. 

The absence of patents provides protection, enabling businesses to focus on innovation and growth without the constant threat of opportunistic trolls.

Fostering innovation and competition

While unpatented QR code solutions offer freedom from patent infringement claims, they also contribute to a more dynamic and competitive environment. 

Without the restrictions imposed by patent protection, businesses have the flexibility to explore and innovate within the QR code landscape. 

It fosters healthy competition, encourages the development of new and improved solutions, and, ultimately, the benefits of QR codes for businesses and consumers alike.

How to protect your brand from patent troll scams

Be vigilant and well-informed to safeguard your intellectual property and avoid falling victim to patent troll scams

Below is a comprehensive checklist to help you through patent infringement claims, evaluate the legitimacy of such claims, and protect your business from the grip of patent trolls.

1. Conduct thorough research

Investigate the alleged patent and its owner. Verify their credibility, reputation, and history of patent enforcement. 

Look for any patterns of abusive litigation or questionable practices that may indicate a patent troll.

Patent trolls will have alleged patent infringement without providing substantial evidence or a court order, aiming to extort a significant sum for your company. 

These deceptive threats will usually appear as your product gains popularity and attracts a large user base. 

It is essential to note that the patent troll’s patent typically encompasses broad vague claims that don’t specifically cover the unique features of any innovative QR code technology.

Patent trolls can be deceptive, often impersonating lawyers' offices and sending convincing emails. To stay safe, exercise caution and be wary of their claims.

It's best to avoid engaging with them entirely and refrain from any form of communication.

2. Verify patent ownership

Ensure that the entity making the infringement claim is the rightful owner of the patent in question—request documented proof, such as patent numbers, registration details, and other supporting evidence.

There are reliable websites that companies can visit to verify the accuracy of patent registration. 

Brands residing in the United States can go to the USPTO website, and businesses from Europe can check EUIPO to verify.

3. Assess the scope of infringement

Evaluate whether your product, service, or technology infringes on the patented features. You can engage technical experts or consult legal counsel to analyze the claims and potential infringement.

4. Evaluate the patent’s validity

Examine prior art and conduct thorough due diligence to assess validity. Consult intellectual property experts or legal professionals to determine the strength and legitimacy of the patent.

5. Examine the extent of damages

Evaluate the potential damages claimed by the patent troll. Assess whether they align with the actual impact on their patent rights and seek professional advice to ascertain the logic of the demand.

6. Seek legal guidance

Legal guidance

If you have doubts or concerns about the legitimacy of the infringement claim, consult an experienced intellectual property attorney who can provide specialized advice tailored to your situation. 

They can help you navigate the complexities of patent law and protect your rights effectively.

Why you need a secure QR code generator to outsmart patent trolls

As patent trolls threaten businesses’ intellectual property, we must defend ourselves robustly. 

By harnessing the capabilities of secure QR code software like QR TIGER, companies can fortify their QR code initiatives with strong data security and customizable features. 

Here’s why you should use reliable QR code software to fight patent troll scams:

QR TIGER: the gold standard in secure QR code generation

QR code generator

At the forefront of secure QR code generation is QR TIGER, the only QR code generator with ISO 27001 certification.

This prestigious certification attests to QR TIGER’s commitment to robust information security management systems. 

Businesses can have confidence in QR code initiatives’ highest data security and protection standards by choosing QR TIGER.

Enhancing security with GDPR and SSL compliance

QR TIGER goes above and beyond by adhering to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines and ensuring compliance with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). 

These measures solidify QR TIGER’s dedication to data privacy and encryption, guaranteeing that sensitive information transmitted through QR codes remains secure and confidential. 

With QR TIGER’s GDPR and SSL compliance, businesses can trust that their QR code solutions prioritize protecting customer data and maintaining their integrity and reputation.

Customized QR codes with security features

One of the key advantages of using a secure QR code software like QR TIGER is the ability to customize QR codes while incorporating essential security features. 

Businesses can embed unique logos, colors, and branding elements into their QR codes, bolstering authenticity and customer trust. 

Additionally, QR TIGER offers password-protected QR codes, ensuring that only authorized individuals can access the content within the codes, further safeguarding sensitive information and deterring patent trolls.

Safeguard your innovation and defend your business from QR code patent troll scam

In the battle against QR code patent troll scams, businesses must leverage every tool to protect their innovations and preserve their intellectual property. 

By identifying common signs of scams, evaluating infringement claims diligently, and seeking legal guidance when needed, you fortify your defenses against patent trolls and safeguard your innovations. 

Remember, vigilance is critical; staying informed is the first defense against deceptive practices. 

With QR TIGER, the most advanced QR code generator, you have the tool to foster innovation, defend intellectual property, and navigate patent laws with confidence. 

Go to QR TIGER, the only QR code software with ISO 27001 certification and GDPR compliance, and check out our amazing features.

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