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Evaluating Patent Troll Myths 167

An anonymous reader writes "In a guest post on the Patently-O blog, Villanova University professor Michael Risch summarizes his detailed study into the methods and efficacy of patent trolls. He writes, 'It turns out that most of what I thought about trolls — good or bad — was wrong.... Perhaps the biggest surprise in the study was the provenance of patents. I thought most patents came from failed startups. While such patents were represented (about 14% of initial assignees were defunct), most came from companies still in business in 2010. Indeed, more than a third of the initial assignees were publicly traded, a subsidiary of a public company, or venture capital recipients. Only 21% were patent assertion entities at the time the patent issued, and many of those were inventor owned companies (like Katz) rather than acquisition entities (like Acacia). ... Another area of surprise was patent quality. While trolls almost never won their cases if they went to judgment (only three cases led to an infringement finding on the merits), the percentage of patents invalidated on the merits was lower than I expected.'"
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Evaluating Patent Troll Myths

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  • by psxndc ( 105904 ) on Monday September 05, 2011 @10:04PM (#37312170) Journal

    Very few patents are for actual original innovations that warrant a 21 year monopoly.

    Wow, wrong fact right in the first sentence. All credibility: gone.

    You don't get a 21 year monopoly, or even a "20 year monopoly" which is what you were probably thinking of. You get a monopoly that lasts between patent issuance and the end of a 20 year period starting from the earliest claimed priority date, plus any patent term adjustment (assuming the patent was filed after 1995; pre-1995 is a little different).

    So you're wrong right out of the gate, then, yup, a bunch of anti-patent blathering. And modded up as informative. Good to see /. never changes.

  • by mellon ( 7048 ) on Monday September 05, 2011 @11:06PM (#37312362) Homepage

    I don't know who this "we" is to whom you are referring, but I do NOT want to encourage invention. Invention happens whether it's encouraged or not. There is no need to "encourage invention." This is the problem with the patent system: it solves a problem that doesn't exist, at extraordinary expense.

The moon may be smaller than Earth, but it's further away.