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Vermont Attorney General William SorrellVermont Attorney General William Sorrell (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi)

Last year Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell became the first lawmaker to sue a so-called patent troll for threatening businesses with allegedly bogus patent infringement claims. In an interview on Friday, Sorrell said he welcomed news that his state’s chosen target, MPHJ Technology Investments, has made a deal with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to cease precisely those activities. But he said the FTC’s settlement could have been tougher.

“The agreement helps us,” said Sorrell, who sued MPHJ on behalf of the state of Vermont in May 2013, alleging that the company violated the Vermont Consumer Protection Act by sending deceptive letters to Vermont businesses claiming they infringed MPHJ’s scan-to-email patent. “The company has claimed over and over again that they have a constitutional right to do what they’ve been doing, but now they’re saying they won’t do it anymore.”

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