A Vancouver company is demanding hundreds of Canadian businesses pay up.
Martin Jones, a Vancouver-based inventor, says he patented automated technology using GPS to say when vehicles or objects will arrive somewhere. However, he couldn't make money at it.
Now, some businesses are calling him a patent troll and that his methods are "extortion".
Jones' company, Dovden Investments, is going after everyone from Telus to Vancouver Airport Authority to trucking companies.
Vince Hardy owns Text2Car in Saskatoon. Hardy makes devices used across North America that track where a vehicle is and where it's been.
When Dovden Investments told him he owed $75,000 for patent infringement, Hardy said he refused to pay.
"All it is is something that puts fear into people and limits or throttles the features that a person can do," Hardy said.
Dovden lowered its asking price and eventually stopped writing when Hardy said he'd be happy to prove his case in court.
"They never go to court," Hardy said. "They send out thousands of letters a week literally worldwide. They just want people to pay them. They'll never spend the money on court themselves."
Over the past year, Dovden has filed more than a third of Canada's patent infringement claims, but none have been successful.
"In my view every single one of these cases was frivolous," Sam Kazen, an intellectual property lawyer in Toronto, said.
Last week, the Canadian Urban Transit Association applied to have some of Dovden's patents thrown out.
Michael Roschlau, the president and CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, said they launched an impeachment action in federal court, arguing four of Dovden's patents are not valid.
"They're preying on public resources and very well-intentioned services that municipalities are providing in good faith." Roschlau said
The suit was launched last week. Its allegations have not yet been proven in court.