Patent trolls are not a new phenomenon. They buy patents for the sole purpose of extorting and suing companies. Since patent-related litigation proceedings are complex and time-consuming, the fees for defending a patent claim in court proceedings may exceed one million U.S. dollars. Therefore, many legitimate companies (especially startups) prefer to pay the requested settlement fees instead of defending their rights. According to CNN, just within the period 1990 – 2010, patent trolls cost investors 500 billion U.S. dollars.
Patent trolls can target a limited scope of companies, namely, companies using patented inventions. For example, they cannot target a company that does not use any patented inventions, and its only online presence is a simple website containing an online contact form and information about the company. If you would like to see the entire article, please click here.