Stung by its involvement in what has been referred to as the “Lollapalooza of patent trolling,” Fortress Investment Group, LLC has announced it is offering royalty-free licenses for its patents involved in COVID-19 diagnostics research.
The move came after one of its subsidiaries, Labrador Diagnostics, LLC, filed a patent infringement suit against French company Biomeriux SA, accusing it of infringing a handful of Fortress’s patents covering advanced diagnostics technology.
In an excellent PR move, however, Biomeriux announced two days later that it was researching and developing coronavirus tests, using technology covered by Fortress’s patents. Wary of being branded a profiteer, Fortress promptly issued a mea culpa, explaining that its beef with Biomeriux went back over six years, involving conduct that had nothing to do with COVID-19 testing.
As such, Fortress and Labrador stated unequivocally that they will offer royalty-free licenses to its diagnostics technology for the duration of the current crisis, hoping that “more tests will be created, disseminated, and used to quickly and effectively protect our communities.”
We have technical name for this in the industry: it’s called “dodging a bullet.” Stay tuned for updates.