Big Time Patent Attorney Jumps Into The Patent Trolling Game By Buying 4,500 Patents From Micron

from the abusing-the-system dept

I recently had a conversation with a patent litigator for a big name law firm. He tends to work on the "defense" side of things -- defending tech companies against lawsuits from patent hoarders, who he felt were causing serious problems for innovation. That said... he admitted that watching how much money folks make by hoarding patents and suing big companies for actually innovating, it's really tempting to get into the game. At some point, your resolve wares down, and you realize there's just so much money to be made abusing the system, that it's difficult to resist. We've seen that a lot. In fact, two years ago, we wrote about how many of the new generation of "patent trolls" were former patent lawyers themselves, who felt it was better to make money abusing the system directly, rather than being a hired gun for some other patent hoarder.

In our recent post about Erich Spangenberg, he admitted that was part of his reasoning. After working for a big law firm for a bit, he decided it was more lucrative to own the patents and sue everyone himself, rather than just being a lawyer working for others. In that article, Spangenberg also mentioned that Micron had recently sold a bunch of patents to a well-known patent attorney, John Desmarais. That story is now getting more attention, as Bloomberg has an entire article about Desmarais jumping ship from his big law firm to buy 4,500 patents from Micron and put them into a new firm that will be used to demand money from lots of tech companies.

It's hard to read the article and not be depressed. Here's someone who clearly knows how the system is being abused, and rather than fight for a better system, he decides to abuse the system himself. Such is the state of our broken patent system.

Filed Under: incentives, john desmarais, patents, trolling


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2010 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re:

    "but the monetary gains won't be going to micron."

    Or any other vehicle of innovation. I would however allow this man to hire lawyers to siphon funds from innovators. That's what he meant by "he is using it as designed".

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