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Patents The Almighty Buck United States Your Rights Online

US Patent Trolling Costs $29 Billion a Year 130

New submitter Bismillah writes "This piece of research from Boston University seems to put an end to claims that patent trolling is 'socially valuable,' and instead is a social loss. 'We estimate that firms accrued $29 billion of direct costs in 2011. Moreover, although large firms accrued over half of direct costs, most of the defendants were small or medium-sized firms, indicating that [non-practicing entities] are not just a problem for large firms.' The total cost to society could be around $80 billion, according to the researchers. What's more, the costs have gone up fourfold since 2005."
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US Patent Trolling Costs $29 Billion a Year

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @08:23AM (#40465817)

    Former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold, who now heads up the controversial Intellectual Ventures patent rights company, told the All Things Digital conference two weeks ago that "I was never a popular kid in class".

    "I'm not going to be popular in this class."

    translation: back in school he was beaten up on a daily basis. Now he's armed with patents and lawyers and is going after everyone else's lunch money.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @09:50AM (#40466681)

    Norwegian ancestry, I see. Y is a vowel, h before another consonant is silent (and usually archaic), and "vold" in place names is an archaic form of "voll" (mound, embankment).

    We don't usually modernize names, but it would turn into "Myrvoll", pronounced something like [my:r'vol].

  • Right. They wait until you're making money, and then they come take it. Half a million? No. The damage can be your entire company. What would RIM look like right now if they hadn't suffered a half a billion dollar patent tax on push email?

    Probably no different. The RIM v. NTP settlement was in March 2006, at which point their stock price was at $27 [google.com]. 16 months later, they were at $85 and did a 3:1 split... at which point it then went up to a peak of $144... So one share of $27 stock when that half billion dollar "tax" (really? taxes go to the government, this was to the patent owner) was then worth $432, or a 1600% increase.

    No, what killed RIM (aside from the 2008 recession, but that hurt everyone) was the fact that they rested on their Blackberry laurels and never innovated further, believing themselves to have a lock on the enterprise market, and iOS and Android shot past them. [phonedog.com]

  • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @10:38AM (#40467239) Journal
    I stay in France.

    True story.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:38PM (#40469627)

    Ya wanna see an idiot, look in the mirror.
    Yeah, trolls don't sue small buisinesses. They get their lawsuit money from threatening to sue small businesses. $100k here, $200k there, and before long they can finance a lawsuit against the big fish.
    The settlements, of course, are not trackable, and therefore do not figure into the $29 billion.

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry