A patent troll or “non practicing entity “or “patent assertion entity” is an individual or company that holds a patent(s) but has no intention of manufacturing the product or software. The negative connotation “troll” comes from the idea that this is a business model in which patents are obtained for the sole purpose of extorting others by threatening to commence an infringement action against them. Anyone who tries to create something similar is then sued. Because most of these companies/individuals do not have the funds for litigation, they will accept a settlement and purchase licensing rights from the company holding the patent. These “trolls” are viewed as money sucking entities that have no intention of creating their ideas. Ultimately, they just want to license the invention to another and get the profit from that.
Let’s not be so quick to judge. There is another side to the patent troll issue. Many inventors have no interest in being business owners and managing a manufacturing production. They only wish to partner with a company that can bring their invention to reality. Thomas Edison held over 1,000 patents. Many of those he licensed to other companies. Similar examples exist in the modern day. Inventors should be encouraged to invent. Establishing intellectual property protection for their creations will encourage them to continue creating new, innovative products and technologies.
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