News Roundup: Patent Loopholes; Personal Flyers; Data Startups
Fighting Patent Loopholes
David Rose, founder and CEO of Gust.com, shares his company’s experience with so-called “patent trolls.” Vague legal terminology surrounding the term “software” has allowed the creation of entities that hold patents for the sole intention of suing successful businesses for patent infringement. To avoid expensive legal fees, the businesses typically settle for monetary amounts. When a patent troll tried to sue Gust, they decided to take the company to court and fight to change the loophole.
The story of how Amazon came to be located in Seattle was shared by three of the people involved in the process at the Urban Land Institute’s Spring Meeting this week. It’s an interesting look at the history of Seattle development and the string of unlikely events that led to the current Amazon campus.
Kitty Hawk has announced their plans to release an electric personal flying machine for retail by the end of the year. The startup is offering memberships to anyone who wants to be placed on a waiting list and receive a discount for the personal flyers, which are meant to be used above water and fly at up to 25 miles per hour.
Business with a Cause
John Cronin is a 21-year-old entrepreneur with an online store that sells colorfully-patterned socks to raise awareness for people with Down syndrome and autism. In less than 6 months, John’s Crazy Socks has earned over $500,000, released more than 850 sock designs, and moved to a larger space to accommodate an increasing volume of orders.
A New Track for Data Startups
500 Startups, a global investment firm, is launching a new track for data-focused startups. Its aim is to help companies involved with deep technology and enterprise data, which usually take longer to incubate than most startups.