Science, technology and engineering are many times concerned
about holding patent protection, infringing on someone else’s
patent claims or having a competitor infringe on their existing
Patent trolls, where NPE non-productive entities hold rights to
patents and litigate against firms when they believe patent claims
have been infringed, provides a challenge to harm US manufacturers
and technological progress.
Ashby Jones summarized recent proposals to roll out executive orders
and seek legislation in June 5 WSJ (subscription required to view).
Two items of note in the article:
1- there is a 6-fold increase in “troll suits” from ‘06 to ‘12
2- legislative action, which is believed quite important, could have
unintended consequences for universities and research institutes who
have troll-like characteristics in that they license patents, rather
than bring products to market using patents.
University and tech transfer offices of institutes need to pay close
attention where this goes.