Other Legal Work Slow? Start A Practice To Help Patent Trolling

from the not-good dept

The economy still isn't doing so great, and that impacts everyone -- even lawyers. So what are they to do in weak times? Eric Goldman points out that in the past, they'd become bankruptcy lawyers, but this time around, it looks like some are realizing a more lucrative strategy is to get involved in patent trolling -- though they prefer to call it "IP monetization." This is, of course, just a continuation of the whole ridiculous focus on squeezing cash from unused or ignored patents, following the publication of the book Rembrandts in the Attic, which kicked off this effort.

From an economic standpoint, this activity is a pure dead weight loss on economic activity. There is nothing good that comes from it. You basically have companies that have ignored a patent they got for whatever reason, suddenly rediscovering it and using it to go after totally unrelated companies who actually innovated and brought products to market (almost always with no knowledge whatsoever of the questionable patent in the first place). And suddenly the actual innovators have to pay up to a company that did absolutely nothing with the invention.
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Filed Under: business, lawyers, patent trolls


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2009 @ 2:53pm

    Looking for socialism?

    How often does capitalism do the right thing for society?

    If I am a lawyer and I help a client license/enforce their patent and my client gets paid and I get paid then something good came from that, we both made money. Capitalism is every man for himself, I don't have to do anything that benefits you or anyone else but me.

    Your arguement is really for independent invention (though I know you really want to flush the entire patent system). Seems more productive to discuss how the US could move from the current patent system to something better. I don't think we can just throw patents away overnight, it will take planning and time to undo what is already done.

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