Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Patent Trolls’ Advocates

Are patent trolls social harm blocking innovations all the times? How about having a time to hear the voices for patent trolls in general and their role as patent assertion entities for rights of inventors?

1. Patent troll: 'I'm ethical and moral' (CNN Money)
Our business model is to give inventors a share of the proceeds from the successful lawsuits it brings against companies found to have violated their patents.  … doesn't give inventors a low-ball upfront offer for their patents and then proceed to make millions from lawsuits without cutting them in on the rewards.”


2. Why We Can’t Kill the Patent System (Wired)
We have only resorted to litigation when a company has refused to pay us for using our inventions, and even then we have typically settled those disputes, always on mutually acceptable terms.”


3. Exclusive Interview: Paul Ryan, CEO of Acacia Research (IPWatchdoc)
Our role in the ecosystem is simply to give those disenfranchised patent owners a level playing field by aggregating patents and get an audience with the users of these technologies.”


4. Congress vs. the 'patent trolls' (LA Times)
Policymakers shouldn't assume that every non-manufacturing company that buys patents is a troll. Patent aggregators can play a vital role in protecting the interests of legitimate small inventors. … the best defense against patent trolls is to stop the patent office from granting bad patents.”


5. FTC should avoid ‘Caddyshack’ approach with patent troll (Seattle Times)
Solution to the patent-troll problem should be carefully tailored. It must curtail abusive litigation and licensing practices, but not inhibit the secondary patent market by excessive restrictions on other nontroll participants.”


Alex G. Lee, Principal, TechIPm LLC

1 comment:

Steven Hoffberg said...

It is generally a correct statement that any party that seeks pecuniary gain by asserting false rights commits "harm". Somehow, the "innovators" (from Latin, "innovir", meaning to renew, i.e., infringe...) conflate all assertions with wrongful assertions. Likewise, the legal system is aghast that assertions might be made that demonstrate how inefficient the litigators and courts are, and therefore that should be settled without getting to the merits using those resources.

The bottom line is that the legal system has created a massive arbitrage opportunity, and in so doing, created profit opportunity for entities that make the system or resolution of issues outside the system more efficient. Those that argue against arbitrage, without fixing the inefficiencies that create their opportunity, obviously benefit from those inefficiencies. Quite simply, the "innovators" established a status quo that blocked fair and reasonable compensation of inventors for their IP by massive inefficiencies. The NPEs have established business models that either scale the issues large enough such that the inefficiencies are acceptable, or work around the system, forcing the "innovators" to settle rather than fight.

Once it is clear that the "innovators" are actually using rights they do not own, and for which they have no intention of compensating the proprietor, then the decision-makers can balance the equities with the inventors and their proxy rights holders (NPEs) and come to an optimal solution. Somehow, the massive continuing infringement of small stakeholders has been lost from sight as a protected interest in the rush to demonize "trolls".