On November 6th, the Federal Trade Commission announced it had settled its first consumer-protection lawsuit against MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC, a patent assertion entity (PAE), and its law firm for using “deceptive sales claims and phony legal threats” to try to get unsuspecting companies to license patents.  PAEs, or "patent trolls", are companies that obtain patent rights and try to generate revenue by licensing to or litigating against those who are or may be using patented technology.  “Patents can promote innovation, but a patent is not a license to engage in deception,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Small businesses and other consumers have the right to expect truthful communications from those who market patent rights.”

See agreement here and FTC Press Release here.