More on patent trolls

responds to my earlier blog on patent trolls:

He says:

Thomas Edison was a “patent troll.”

So was Nikola Tesla.

So was almost every great inventor in the last 200 years*.

So is any inventor who licenses their invention rather than produce it themselves.  Unlike the ignoramuses who attack them, these people aren’t trolls. They’re benefactors:

Not every person who something they don’t produce is a patent troll. But patent trolls don’t actually come up with inventive ideas. Their inventive idea is to just file a patent over anything they can think of, even if it is not a true invention. Once they get the patent, they’ll find victims who will pay them a fee rather than go to court to get the patent over-turned.

PC quotes a Judge:

Judge Michel,  former head of the CAFC, the US court that hears all patent appeals, points out that the number of patent suits filed each year has remained constant at less than three thousand.  Only about 100 of these suits ever go to trial.  In a technology based economy with over 300 million people and 1 million active patents this is trivial.

Of course they don’t go to trial. If you want to try and fight a patent claim you need US$1 to US$2.5 million generally. What small business can afford that?

The proposed law change mooted in the US doesn’t ban patent trolls. It just changes the economic incentives so that the trolls have to post a bond to cover the defendant’s costs in case they lose. So you can’t just set up a $500 shell company and threaten patent lawsuits. The problem for the defendent is that even if they win, they will never recover the cost of defending the lawsuit. So of course they settle.

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