4th feb, 2010

Patent Trolls are the good guys…seriously!

Businessweek has a special report on “Patent Trolls” one of the favourite topics of patent critics. In the article Ron Epstein explains how the Patent troll or Non Practicing Entity can be a good thing.
One of the good things about the NPE is that they can act as a gatekeeper for smaller inventors pooling patents taking up the fight with larger companies. The NPE´s will either be an innovator who failed to market their innovation or a patent investor trying to turn patents to profit.
On the surface Epsteins arguments are nice enough, but in my opinion many incidents involving the NPE´s tell a slightly different story. Many of the NPE´s historically invest in very flimsy patents and fire broadsides of lawsuits and infringement letters. This has helped build the reputation of the business. And I think it’s legitimate to question how much value they add generally speaking. Epstein claim that the NPE´s are representatives of the individual inventor. Looking at R&D investment statistics and patents granted to organisations it is clear that the majority of innovation is not carried out by the lone inventor.  

 So all in all im not convinced that the patent trolls or NPE´s are the good guys all the way.

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