Trolls in the majority of cases.

At least 56 percent of all patent lawsuits are started by patent trolls, according to a new, comprehensive report by Lex Machina.

According to Colleen Chien of Santa Clara University, 61% of patent lawsuits in the U.S. in 2012 were brought by patent trolls.  The following graph from a recent presentation by Ms Chien shows an alarming trend.
Usually, patent lawsuits are between large companies such as the Oracle vs. Google and Apple vs. Samsung cases that I have reported on in this blog.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a “patent troll uses patents as legal weapons, instead of actually creating any new products or coming up with new ideas.”  In many cases the nonpracticing entity (NPE), or patent troll, purchases patents that are unused or patents where their owners are not financially able to bring suit for infringement.  Then, the NPE demands a licensing fee from other companies using something that “may” infringe a patent in their portfolio.  Most of the time, the cost for licensing the patent from the NPE is far less than the cost of a patent lawsuit.  A cash cow is born.

According to Lex Machina:

“Cases filed by monetizers [i.e. trolls] rarely proceed to trial, usually settling early in the case. 75 percent of terminated cases filed by monetizers ended in a settlement, as did 72 percent of terminated cases filed by operating companies. Less than 1 percent of monetizer cases were decided at or after trial, and less than 2 percent of monetizer cases were decided on summary judgment. Of the summary judgment cases, the authors did not find a single decision in which the monetizer prevailed. Of the trial determinations, monetizers won half of the time, though this represented only 0.3 percent of all terminated monetizer cases.”

How I Can Help

If your company, or someone you know, has recieved notice of a patent lawsuit filed against you, I can help you defend yourself from unwarranted legal action.   Please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +