What is a Patent Troll and Why Should We Care?

Patent trolls are a term used to a patent owner or licensee that seeks payment from companies allegedly infringing on the troll’s patent rights.  Rather than fight the allegation, the company complies with the troll’s demands.  The patent troll typically sends out multiple letters and thus may amass a considerable fortune.

Many companies are growing tired of the patent trolls and their seemingly unjust demands.  To counter the trolls, many states have or are in the process of enacting anti-troll legislation. Florida, for example, recently passed a law that seemingly protects businesses from the demands of the patent trolls.  The law enables a company to sue a patent troll for sending a letter in bad faith.  The law includes a “loser pays” provision meaning that if the patent troll loses the action in court, they will need to pay the attorney’s fees for the opposing party as well as any damage award.

What’s the take away here?  Well, patent troll legislation may be needed.  However, the language and provisions need to be drafted in such a way that does not create more problems than the problems they are designed to fix. 

Identifying, protecting and asserting your intellectual property rights is critical to any organization.  Having the right person to help you through the process is important.  The Law Office of Kathleen Lynch PLLC is designed to help businesses such as yours keep ahead of the game.   The first telephone consultation is free.  Email us at klynch@kliplaw.com.