A patent troll is a person or company that buys and enforces patents against other companies, without actually using the patent themselves. Patent trolls are also known as non-practicing entities (NPEs).
Patent trolls typically buy patents from other companies or from inventors who are no longer interested in developing or commercializing the patent. They then use these patents to sue other companies for infringement, even if the patent is not actually being used by the patent troll.
Patent trolls often target small and medium-sized companies because they are less likely to have the resources to defend themselves against a patent infringement lawsuit. Patent trolls can also target large companies, but these companies are more likely to have the resources to fight back.
Patent trolls usually do not produce any products or services themselves. Instead, they make their money by licensing their patents to other companies or by suing companies for infringement.
Patent trolls can stifle innovation and disrupt businesses. They can also increase the cost of doing business by forcing companies to spend money on litigation instead of investing in research and development.
The term "patent troll" is often used pejoratively to describe companies or individuals that abuse the patent system.
What is an example of a patent troll?
Patent trolls are entities that purchase patents for the sole purpose of suing companies that they allege are infringing on those patents. Patent trolls often have no intention of actually using the patents themselves; they simply want to extract settlements from companies that are easier and cheaper than going to court.
Patent trolls are a major problem for companies, as they can be very costly to defend against. In many cases, it is cheaper and easier for a company to simply settle with a patent troll, even if they are not actually infringing on the patent in question. This can lead to a situation where patent trolls are able to extract large sums of money from companies, even though they are not actually providing any value.
There are a number of ways to combat patent trolls, including changing the law to make it more difficult for them to operate, and increasing the transparency of the patent system. However, patent trolls are still a major problem in the United States, and they are likely to continue to be a problem until the law is changed in a way that makes it more difficult for them to operate.
Why are patent trolls allowed?
Patent trolls are allowed because they help to ensure that companies are compliant with the law. By threatening legal action, they force companies to take steps to avoid infringement, such as by obtaining a license or redesigning their products. This helps to ensure that companies do not accidentally infringe on someone else's patent, which could lead to costly litigation.
Patent trolls also help to mitigate the risk of patent infringement. By aggressively enforcing their patents, they create a deterrent for other companies that might be considering infringing. This helps to reduce the overall risk of patent infringement, which can be very costly for companies.
Finally, patent trolls help to ensure good governance of the patent system. By enforcing patents, they help to ensure that patents are only granted for truly novel and useful inventions. This helps to prevent the granting of frivolous patents, which can clog up the system and make it more difficult for legitimate inventors to obtain patents for their inventions.
Are patent trolls a problem?
Patent trolls are a problem for companies because they can be very costly to deal with. A patent troll is a person or company who owns a patent but does not make any products or services based on that patent. Instead, they make their money by suing companies that do make products or services based on the patent.
This can be a big problem for companies because patent trolls can be very difficult to deal with. They may not be easy to find, and they may not be easy to negotiate with. In some cases, patent trolls have been known to make demands that are impossible for companies to meet, such as demanding an exorbitant amount of money or demanding that the company stop using the patent altogether.
Patent trolls can also be a problem for the economy as a whole. They can stifle innovation by making it too costly for companies to develop new products or services. They can also make it difficult for companies to invest in research and development, because they may be afraid of being sued by a patent troll.