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 ?
According to the study, 17 percent of companies receiving demands for payment from patent trolls are retailers, who also make up 10 percent of all defendants in patent litigation and 13 percent of companies paying royalties to patent trolls.
Patent trolls don't limit their attacks to technology makers.
Fry, Partner, Morris, Manning & Martin LLP will speak at the Knowledge Group's webcast entitled: "Emerging Issues: Patent Trolls and Deceptive Tactics - Impacts and Implications Explored
Patent trolls remain a significant risk for startups.
These days, patent trolls remain a significant risk for startups.
Summary: These days, patent trolls remain a significant risk for startups.
It wouldn't be a stretch to compare patent trolls to the playground bully, initiating scare tactics to gain control and in the case of the trolls, revenue.
As patent reform legislation makes its way through Congress, supporters and opponents are waging a war of words over whether the bill will weaken the patent rights of innovators or effectively squash the abusive tactics of patent trolls, also referred to as non-practicing entities (NPEs).
More than half the states have joined the battle against the most litigious of patent-assertion entities, those known as patent trolls.
Wikipedia, for example, conflates patent trolls, non-practicing entities (NPEs) and patent assertion entities (PAEs), defining them collectively as "person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question, thus engaging in economic rent-seeking.
It's not clear whether Vermont has the legal authority to regulate patent activities, but even if not, its efforts foreshadow a coming legislative crackdown on patent trolls.
Rather than building or inventing products or services, patent trolls are individuals or companies that have acquired a patent for litigation purposes.