26th okt, 2008

Is the troll the lone inventors last hope?

Sitting on a plane back to Copenhagen from Stockholm I was contemplating the situation of one of my most inventive friends. At present she is entering what could be a patent/trade secret struggle with two major companies. She has disclosed (with NDA and patents in hand) two of her really innovative inventions to two different companies, who after a very affectionate start now have cooled considerably. Both companies seem to have been developing a product covered by either the NDE or her patents – and what can she do? With money – lawsuit, but else nothing. And the bad part is that this is far from the only example of this that I know of.

Enter tha patent troll. Is the only option for the lone inventor the safety of the troll $$? A troll with money can extract your due payment from your former friends. But the solution is actuallt bad, because its a waste of litigation and money, and you should be cooprorating instead of fighting (Lean lessons shining thru;-)).

The incentive for the companies to coorporate must be greater than those for ripping the inventor off. Of course this is to be balanced with companies right to refuse to license bad inventions. The solutions could be a new type of patent pools where inventors pool their ressources for purposes of litigation…or taking out patent insurances.

Responses

What are the possiblities of defending disclosed trade secrets? Breach of contract?

And why trade secrets if your friend has patents?

And really, I don’t understand your use of the word patent troll. The woman herself should be able to take out a loan, and litigate if she has solid patents and clear prof of infringement.

Patent trolls are the people who litigate frivolously (on shit-quality patents).

A non disclosure agreement protects trade secrets, usually the ones not protected by the patent. A combination of TC and patents is a good thing.

Patent trolls are organisations not producing anything themselves other than litigation. They buy patents w the purpose of litigating. Some are using only bad patents to create revenue, but some actually have solid patents. What an inventor could do is present the case for the troll and let him take the case.
I doubt that many banks will give a loan for a court case (they cant asses the risk). One option would be taking out a loan in your house (if you own your own house and its valuable enough) or pledge your patent as security. The last option also involves the bank being able to determine the value of your patent.

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