Dec 3, 2015 ยท 1 minute

Last year, I wrote about the slightly wonderful response sent by Life360's CEO Chris Hulls to a patent troll. 

The response, which began "Dear piece of shit," made clear to Florida-based Advanced Ground Information Systems (AGIS) that Life360 would rather die than settle another baseless payment claim. 

As Hulls told me at the time: AGIS was "probably our 4th or 5th patent troll.  Previously, we would just pay these guys off.  Timing was never right for a fight as we always were working on some big deal or fundraise, and the specter of a lawsuit, even a B.S. one, was scary." 

Scared or not, Hulls stuck to his word and Life360 fought back against AGIS, eventually spending nearly $700k in legal fees. And, remarkably, the gamble paid off: A judge found in favor of Life360 and, earlier this week, ordered AGIS to pay $685,190.25 in fees, describing AGIS's case as "exceptionally weak." The judge did, however, rule that fees paid to expert witnesses could not be reclaimed. 

The full judgement is below. 

As Hulls wrote to me yesterday: "Judge Middlebrooks' decision confirms what we knew all along - this case was nothing more than a meritless shakedown attempt that fortunately backfired for AGIS and their attorneys at Kenyon in a big way.  The tide is turning against trolls and we hope this win emboldens others in the tech ecosystem to stand up to these bullies." And the judgement is potentially good news for other tech startups too. Says Hulls: "[I]f AGIS is unable to pay this judgement and we end up owning their patents through their possible bankruptcy, our intent is to give a free license to all their IP to other tech startups so they will never be a threat again."