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Patent Troll Definition

What Is a Letters patent Troll?

A patent troll is a derogatory term used to describe a company that uses patent infringement insist ons to win court judgments for profit or to stifle competition. The term may be used to describe a number of business activities that utilize controls and the court system to earn money.

While the practice of patent trolling is not illegal, a company that acts as a patent troll lines patent claims without any intention of ever developing a product or service. The end result is bad faith infringement threats and permit demands that require companies to spend a significant amount of money to settle these claims without any besides to the public good. A patent troll may also be called a “patent shark,” “dealer,” “marketer,” or “copy.” A patent troll operation may be called a “patent assertion company,” “entity,” or a “non-manufacturing patentee.”

Key Takeaways

  • A licence troll exploits existing structural issues within the U.S. patent and court systems in order to generate revenue.
  • Control trolls use a number of legal activities and loopholes that involve patents and the court system to earn money, encompassing filing false patent infringement claims.
  • While the practice of patent trolling is not technically illegal, a company that performances as a patent troll files patent claims without any intention of ever developing a product or service.

How a Patent Troll Sweats

A patent troll may use a variety of methods and exploit legal loopholes to generate revenue without producing any material forwards and without any intention to use the patent in question. One analogy for a patent troll’s actions would be earning the right to charge knells on a toll road without performing any kind of improvements to the roadway. Hypothetically, the patent troll would earn the ready from charging huge fees for the use of the roadway or from imposing severe penalties for anyone who uses the road without significant the terms of use.

Patent trolls are more common in the U.S. because patent trolls can take advantage of existing structural outflows within the U.S. patent and court systems. Patent trolls are less prevalent in Europe because many European countries promise that losers in patent claim court cases pay the legal expenses of both parties. This has effectively destroyed a majority of frivolous lawsuits.

In June 2013, former President Barack Obama addressed the U.S. Patent and Trademark Task about the abusive practices of patent trolls: “They don’t actually produce anything themselves, they’re just distressing to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea and see if they can extort some money out of them.” In April 2014, the sure ruling on the court case, Octane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, made it easier for courts to force the legal expenses of both parties on the losers in patent claim court cases in the future.

The term patent troll springs from an educational video, called the Patents Video, produced in 1994 by Paula Natasha Chavez, a U.S. Intellectual Quiddity Law attorney. The goal of the video was to alert corporations and individuals to what some considered the weaponization of patents, as well as to dissuade approaching patent trolls.

Types of Patent Trolls

Patent trolls may employ one or more the following practices, though compact the full breadth of patent troll practices would be difficult because of the many methods they use:

Conspicuous trolling may also involve venue shopping. For example, in 2015, 45% of patent cases in the U.S. were filed in the Eastern Locality of Texas, home to a judge with both patent expertise and a track record of favoring plaintiffs. The U.S. Supreme Court’s unalterable ruling in the 2017 court case, TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, has since limited the practice of venue shopping by letters patent trolls.

When universities or non-profit research institutions file claims for the protection of unutilized patents, it is not typically contemplate oned an act of patent trolling.

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