Business / Legal

A Philly law firm landed crowdfunding platform Gust a victory over an alleged patent troll

A company called AlphaCap Ventures settled out of court with other crowdfunding companies, but Gust went the full distance and cashed in at the end.

Gust: 1. "Patent trolls": 0. (Photo by Flickr user Joe Gratz, under a Creative Commons license)

There was some good news for the crowdfunding world last week: NYC-based crowdfunding software platform Gust won a two-year-old legal showdown over its intellectual property.
Behind the triumph was the legal team of Center-City based law firm White and Williams.
“We are pleased with Judge [Denise] Cote’s decision, not only for our client but because of the message that this sends to patent trolls and others who seek to use patents that are clearly invalid under Alice and Section 101 of the Patent Act, to try to undermine innovation and legitimate business ventures,” said in a statement attorney Lori Smith, who represented Gust alongside Frank Bruno.

Crowdfund Insider reports the legal beef began in early 2015, when a company called AlphaCap Ventures filed a patent infringement lawsuit against 10 different crowdfunding platforms like IndieGogo, AngelList and GoFundMe.
“Nine of the defendants, including some of the biggest names in crowdfunding like Indiegogo, AngelList, GoFundMe, RealtyMogul and more, decided to settle and skip a prolonged legal battle,” writes Crowdfund Insider reporter JD Alois. “Gust decided to go to war.”
The case was deemed “exceptional” by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who ruled in favor of Gust. AlphaCap Ventures must now pay Gust out $500,000 in legal fees and costs.
“This ruling is a major victory in the fight against frivolous and costly patent litigation,” said Gust CEO David S. Rose in a statement. “Gust pursued this case because we knew that AlphaCap’s claims against us and other funding platforms were completely baseless, and it was important that someone take a stand.”


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