Patent Trolls

Patent Troll is a pejorative term used to describe persons or entities who aggresively assert patent ownership rights and typically do not manufacture or make use of the underlying patented inventions. Often,... more +
Patent Troll is a pejorative term used to describe persons or entities who aggresively assert patent ownership rights and typically do not manufacture or make use of the underlying patented inventions. Often, patent trolls exist solely to aggregate and litigate patents. Many in the technology industry claim that patent trolls stifle innovation and have urged Congress to combat these practices by passing comprehensive patent reform. less -
News & Analysis as of

Patent Troll Legislation Stuck in Fee-Shifting Debate

Patent reform legislation has garnered much national attention over the past year, as Congress has introduced numerous proposals to curb perceived litigation abuse by patent trolls. (See our previous alert here.) The House of...more

Vermont Federal Court Rules In Favor Of Vermont And Against Alleged Patent Troll In Preliminary Decision

Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell won a major victory in his groundbreaking effort to use state law to crack down on “patent trolls.” In State of Vermont v. MPHJ, LLC, the Vermont federal court has rejected the...more

Anti-Patent Troll Legislation: What is Proposed and What it Could Mean

Proposed patent legislation has been causing a stir at both the federal and state levels recently. In an effort to curb infringement litigation initiated by non-practicing entities, often referred to as "patent trolls,"...more

Senate Judiciary Committee Tables Patent Reform, Again

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary was set to consider the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 (S. 1720) earlier today during an Executive Business Meeting. Instead, the Committee again tabled the bill, this...more

Stopping Bad Patents -- Senator Schumer Takes on the "Patent Trolls"

In what turned out not to be an April Fools' Day joke, Senator Charles Schumer (at right) of New York participated earlier today in a Google+ Hangout sponsored by the Internet Association. According to their website, this...more

Looking Upstream: Weighing Proposed Changes To Customer Stays In Patent Litigation*

At a time when congressional partisanship is the norm, curbing lawsuits filed by nonpracticing entities (NPEs) may be one of the few issues uniting Washington. Over the past year, both Republicans and Democrats introduced...more

Got a cease and desist letter from a patent troll? Do your homework

In my last post, I detailed some of the first steps you should take if you ever receive a cease and desist letter from a claimed patent owner. (Most important among my tips: Don’t ignore the letter!)...more

‘Who’s That Walking On My Bridge?’: Navigating ‘Patent Troll’ Activity In The UK And Australia

While the activities of so-called ‘patent trolls’ have generated significant media and political attention in the USA, these activities are unlikely to become as prevalent in the UK and Australia because of distinct features...more

New York Times Op-Ed Argues Law Takes Misguided Approach to Software Patents

On March 28, Professor Robin Feldman of the University of California Hastings College of Law wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times entitled "Slowing the Patent Trolls". Unfortunately, like so many articles of its ilk,...more

Senate Judiciary Committee Takes Up, Then Tables, Patent Reform

Earlier today, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held an Executive Business Meeting in which the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act was considered, then held over for another week. Nevertheless, several members of...more

Patent troll roll call: The carefree litigator

In our last post, we introduced you to the first type of patent troll, or patent assertion entity (PAE) — the threatening letter-writer. This is a troll that targets great swaths of unsuspecting businesses with a series of...more

Move over, Congress: The Supreme Court may be this year’s game-changer on patent reform

In a normal year, the U.S. Supreme Court does not normally grant certiorari to patent law cases. In a good year, the Supreme Court may grant certiorari to a single case impacting patent law. In 2014, the nation’s highest...more

Wisconsin Legislators Pass Bill to Thwart “Patent Trolls”

On March 20, 2014, Wisconsin lawmakers passed a bill in an attempt to limit the ability of non-practicing entities (NPE) – also commonly referred to as “patent trolls” – to file claims demanding patent licensing payments. ...more

Patent troll roll call: The threatening letter-writer

Patent trolls, non-practicing entities, patent monetization companies, or patent assertion entities: regardless of what they are called, in this particular context, when we refer to one of these organizations we are talking...more

Down the rabbit hole: Alice case chases the elusive white rabbit of patent reform

Patent trolls — non-practicing entities best known for threatening expensive patent litigation in order to collect licensing fees from accused infringers — are a well-documented problem. Measures aimed at reforming patent...more

Are Patent Trolls Now Targeting the Energy Industry?

Case Numbers Are on the Rise - Based on our informal survey and analysis of patent lawsuits, energy companies will see both an increase in lawsuits filed by “patent trolls” and will find that a decreasing percentage of...more

A Rebuttal to The Economist's "Stalking Trolls"

On March 8th, The Economist published an article deriding both so-called "patent trolls" and "software patents" as being impediments to innovation in the United States. Unfortunately, as we have seen all too often when the...more

Lawmakers Go Hunting for “Patent Trolls”

Oregon has now become the second state to take aim at non-practicing entities (NPEs), more colorfully called “patent trolls,” with laws addressing patent enforcement. On February 25, 2014, the state attorney general...more

New York Attorney General’s “Groundbreaking Settlement” with a “Patent Troll” and the Broader Implications of the “Guidelines for...

Earlier this month, New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a “groundbreaking settlement” agreement with MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC (“MPHJ”), a company many (including the Mr. Schneiderman) deem a...more

Angels Rush in Where Fools Fear to Tread: State Enforcement Against Patent Trolls

I. INTRODUCTION - Nobody likes trolls — those mythical creatures, “considered dangerous to human beings,” who hide under bridges waiting to prey on unsuspecting travelers. Like their mythological namesakes, patent...more

UPC: better protection needed against patent trolls

Usually when the same sentence mentions Amazon, Apple, Samsung or Microsoft and the word “patent” you are reading a report concerning some billion-dollars infringement litigation....more

Patent Issues Remain a Priority for the White House

On February 20, 2014, the White House hosted an event "highlight[ing] progress on the [Obama] Administration's patent policy agenda." Orrick intellectual property attorney Wesley Helmholz attended the event at the White...more

White House Announces Executive Actions Designed to Combat Patent Trolls

Last week, the White House announced new executive actions characterized as initiatives “to combat patent trolls and further strengthen our patent system and foster innovation.” This marks a continuation of the White House’s...more

White House Seeks to Promote Transparency Concerning Patent Ownership

Last week, the Obama Administration announced "major progress on a series of initiatives designed to combat patent trolls and further strengthen our patent system and foster innovation" (see "The White House Releases Update...more

The White House Releases Update on "Protecting American Inventors and Innovators"

Earlier today, the White House provided an update on the five executive actions that it announced in June of 2013. At the time, we reported on the President's legislative recommendations and executive initiatives, as well as...more

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