""This is a huge problem for companies like ours," said David Bates, intellectual property counsel for GE Healthcare. "It’s extortion, and we do face (these problems) on a regular basis, and because of the way the system is set up we can’t possibly keep up. It is definitely an unfair playing field. It can cost several millions of dollars to defend ourselves in some cases. It’s just a matter of fighting on principle when we believe the claim being asserted against us is inept. Even if it costs more money to fight (than to settle), (GE Healthcare) will fight because we don’t want to be seen as a weak target." According to Jeff Costakos, partner in the intellectual property and litigation department at Foley and Lardner, trolls will often look at the cost of a lawsuit, and ask for royalties that add up to less than that in order to make it seem like a more attractive option."