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
    staff2, 1 Dec 2009 @ 8:08am


    "This is, of course, just a continuation of the whole ridiculous focus on squeezing cash from unused or ignored patents"

    If they were unused there would be no litigation because there was no infringement.

    All this talk about “patent trolls” is pure hype. If you will look at the 1898 Rude et al. v. Westcott et al. SCOTUS case [130 US 152, 9 S Ct 463, 32 L Ed 888] you will see that at least since 1874 inventors have been selling and partnering with other parties to enforce their patents. Without doing so, few inventors and small companies can afford to enforce their patents, meaning larger competitors can easily beat them out of the market they created and run them into bankruptcy. That’s big companies idea of “patent reform”. Therefore, all this present day discussion of “trolls” is a hoax whose purpose is to cut off the small entity support system and deny them any profit from their creations. Simply put, its intent is to legalize theft.

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