A patent troll that sued several small companies offering “cybersex” products has backed away from its largest target, the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
TZU Technologies filed six lawsuits in June, mostly against manufacturers of computing-enabled sex toys. One of the defendants, Holland Haptics, was a Kickstarter project whose product, the “Frebble,” allows for a more tame form of interaction, proffering a kind of simple online “hand-holding.” TZU said both Holland Haptics and Kickstarter were infringing its patent, numbered 6,368,268.
Kickstarter refused to pay a “nuisance” settlement demand, preferring instead to litigate the case on principle. On the same day Kickstarter was going to file its response to the lawsuit, TZU offered a “walkaway” settlement in which Kickstarter would pay it nothing, as long as it signed a confidentiality agreement. Again, Kickstarter refused.