Prison Telecom Giant Securus Awarded Patent for Billing Inmate's Relatives

"“There’s this perverse thing where sometimes the more obvious a thing is, the harder it is to prove it’s been awarded a patent improperly because it’s so obvious that no one would write it down so there’s no documentation,” said EFF staff attorney Daniel Nazer. “No one is going to write in a technical article, ‘hey it might be a good idea to reach out to people to pay for services,’ because that’s so obvious.”

Securus is no stranger to patent court: It has issued over 130 patents with more than 80 more pending. The company is an undefeated 16-0 when it comes to patent challenges from industry competitors.

“This is the kind of business where it’s easy to get a monopoly once you win that one bid,” Nazer says. “It’s like inmates get a choice in who the provider is.”"