The New York Times is leading the defense of several companies that have used technology to send text messages with Web links to mobile phones. The technology was patented by inventor Richard J. Helferich, who filed an outline of how such a system would work with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in September 1997. He was granted several patents on the method, giving him the right to sue companies that use it without permission. His company, Helferich Patent Licensing, is giving companies the chance to settle by paying a one-time fee of $750,000, and so far roughly 100 companies have settled.
However, the New York Times general counsel, Kenneth Richieri, told the Associated Press he wants to prevent Helferich’s patents from becoming a burden on activities that are commonplace in the digital age.