patent troll

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patent troll

An organization that uses its patents to generate revenue without manufacturing the products that the patents pertain to. The patents are often purchased from a third party, which may be bankrupt or no longer interested in bringing the product to market.

Also called a "non-practicing entity" (NPE) or "patent assertion entity" (PAE), which are less denigrating, the patent troll looks for infringers that have invested heavily in the product and often has to threaten them with or actually instigate a lawsuit in order to obtain licensing revenues. Companies that are involved in the business that the patent covers may indeed sue others for patent infringement, but that does not make them a patent troll. A patent troll is a holding company that buys patents based on their potential profitability if enforced. See Internet troll.
References in periodicals archive ?
Describing it as a junk patent, he concluded, "This is so staggeringly stupid that it's difficult to know where to start."
Summary: Even if you believe the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s post-grant proceedings have generally played a positive role in eliminating some junk patents, the evidence ...
Even if you believe the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's post-grant proceedings have generally played a positive role in eliminating some junk patents, the evidence shows that PTAB is violating the spirit of A*325(d) of the America Invents Act--and the intent of Congress--by failing to limit double jeopardy and the serial harassment of patent owners in patent examination.
Even if you believe the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's post-grant proceedings have generally played a positive role in eliminating some junk patents, the evidence shows that PTAB is violating the spirit of [sec]325(d) of the America Invents Act--and the intent of Congress--by failing to limit double jeopardy and the serial harassment of patent owners in patent examination.
Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is under attack for issuing so-called "junk patents," (19) and reformers claim that patent litigation is running rampant and is a drag on the economy.
The first concern is junk patents: if requirements for using the DPL are not sufficiently robust, then there is a risk that an entity will simply offer patents that are not valuable, saving valuable patents for possible offensive use against other DPL users.
Complaints about frivolous patents abound in academic, business, and policy circles, and the focus of blame is usually on the large number of junk patents that have issued from the Patent Office that are actually invalid.
The focus of the problem is the tendency of businesses, both large and small, to find themselves having to defend against large numbers of lawsuits over junk patents that have issued from the Patent Office but that are actually invalid--a death by a thousand pin pricks created by the lure of occasional high damages awards in cases adjudicated to involve infringement of valid patents.
The approach proposed here takes seriously the importance to the economy of strong intellectual property rights and the importance of reforms designed to lessen the negative impact of junk patents and frivolous lawsuits.
Nevertheless, concern that the substantive-law rules for patentability are not being appropriately applied by the Patent Office, resulting in too many junk patents, is what motivates the popular procedural reforms designed to address today's junk patents.
The popular proposals for targeting junk patents focus on various administrative approaches to better weed out those patents that needlessly trigger the high transaction costs of patent litigation because they should not even have issued from the Patent Office (usually because they run afoul of the patentability rules relating to the prior art).
Under the present system, the high costs of junk patents are directly tied to the legal presumption of validity that is applied to all issued patents, under which the litigant challenging validity bears the burden of proving invalidity under a higher standard of proof than that which usually applies in civil cases.