31 October 2011

What to think of ‘patent trolls’? The return

In a previous post last year, I was presenting different views on so-called patent trolls, which are sometimes defined as “companies that do not invent anything but instead purchase patents and use them to sue big companies with deep pockets” (paidcontent.org). This negative view of patent trolls is widely shared nowadays and has prompted President Obama and the US Senate to include  provisions aimed at quashing patent trolling in the brand new Patent Reform Act (known as the Leahy-Smith American Invents Act).

Patent trolls – and more generally excessive patent litigations – are accused of stifling innovation. This point of view in nicely exposed in this infographics (created by MBA Online).


However, patent trolls also have their proponents, i.e., people who see nothing wrong in the behaviour of these companies. To hear such views, I invite you to watch this video that aims at debunking the myth of the patent troll. Yet, I also invite you to bear in mind that this video emanates from General Patent Corporation, a company that provides IP enforcement and licensing services with the aim “to help inventors, scientists and authors realize the fruits of their creative genius”…

Now, if you have found valuable arguments in the two previous views (and I believe that there are), you may want to dig a bit further. (Don’t forget that digging is our motto at IPdigIT!) Here is a thorough report on well-known trolls who-claim-that-they-are-no-trolls-but-who-nevertheless-seem-to-really-behave-like-trolls. The title is When Patents Attack and I encourage you to read it (or to listen to it) even if it is a bit long.

After all that, you will be well-equipped to tell me what you think of patent trolls.


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