Some customers of Yozons have never used our technology and services directly, though many thousands have.
Nor have these customers necessarily used us through a reseller.
No, these customers are licensees of the Yozons '079 patent -- U.S. Patent No. 7,360,079 -- and they protect their businesses and investors, and more importantly, protect the interests of their customers by purchasing a license at a fair royalty amount. We offer two tiers of patent licenses: 1) for those who use our patent in non-competitive markets; and 2) for those who are competitors and have directly built their businesses on top of our intellectual property. We offer paid-up licenses as well as revenue-based royalties.
A recent example of such a patent licensee is a company in California that offers instant income verification, primarily for mortgage lenders. Using its own web-based technologies, our licensee is able to review an applicant's tax returns, paystubs and bank statements by getting appropriate authorization online. This then allows them to provide instant delivery of the applicant's income rather than waiting even one or two days, all with tax confirmation provided directly from the IRS.
Intellectual property laws can be complex, but patent law is pretty straightforward in that those who make use of the teachings of a patent are infringing even if they've never heard of the inventor or the patent before. As the Yozons '079 patent was filed in 2002, an infringer today could easily have accumulated 12 years of ongoing infringement.
Even if you don't know you are infringing on a patent, you are legally responsible and can face damages if you do not remedy the situation. If you do know about a patent and are found to infringe, it becomes willful and you become liable for treble damages (3 times the amount) and reimbursement of all legal expenses incurred by the patent owner to bring you into compliance. Several direct competitors fall into this camp.
More confusing is that even if you are a customer of another product or service, and the vendor who offers it infringes on a patent, you also infringe it. It is Yozons' belief that millions have infringed our patent using competing technologies as well as unrelated technologies that perform web-based electronic signatures and secure storage in which the keys and encryption are managed by the server rather than the parties themselves as was the industry norm before the '079 patent.
Of course, Yozons does not generally bring legal action against people regarding it's patent, but those who likely do infringe and refuse to purchase a license do set themselves and their customers up for a willful patent infringement lawsuit in federal court. Attempts to defend yourself can be very expensive, often costing $100,000 just to reach a first round settlement. Most find that if there is sufficient reason to believe you may infringe, it's often dramatically cheaper to acquire a license than to fight it in court. Even if you win the lawsuit, you'll likely have spent considerable money and time on top of being compelled to divulge lots of private information via interrogatories and "requests for production" including software code, design specification, customer lists, revenue models and financial statements going back years.
Smart vendors protect their interests and the interests of their customers by acquiring rights to our '079 patent rather than leave themselves and their customers vulnerable.
Yozons offers a reasonable royalty program that provides a fair price for use of our important patent. If you think you may infringe, we hope you do the right thing and join our many other patent licensees.