- Apple is the number one patent troll victim with 171 patent troll lawsuits from 2009 to 2013.
- The number of patent suits filed by Patent Assertion Entities (Patent Trolls) has tripled in the last two years.
- Small and medium businesses represented 90% of the defendants sued.
- Patent litigation is very expensive; the average suit in which $1 million to $25 million is at stake costs $1.6 million through discovery and $2.8 million through trial.
- In 2013, three cases, tried before juries in separate districts, resulted in awards of $1 billion or greater. SOURCE
- Patent trolls have targeted the software industry with 41 percent of the patent litigation involving software patents. SOURCE
- Patent Trolls typically sue multiple defendants since this reduces their legal costs per defendant and makes for a large potential payoff. SOURCE
- Since 97 percent of infringement suits are settled before trial that suggests that, given the trolls’ advantages, target companies would rather pay off trolls than fight them in court. SOURCE
- The Patent Office receives 520,000 applications in a year — that’s about 1,425 every day — and its 6,500 inspectors are hard-pressed to investigate each application thoroughly. They sometimes end up issuing patents that should not have been awarded. The sheer number and poor quality of patents make it harder for technology companies to be sure they aren’t infringing on an existing or pending patent. SOURCE
- In 2011, United States business entities incurred $29 billion in direct costs because of patent trolls. SOURCE
“Business Plan Competition
1st Boot Camp”
SGMH 1307, 1:00 – 3:00pm
January 15, 2014
The purpose of the Business Plan Competition is to promote entrepreneurship amongst CSUF students from every college. No prior business plan writing experience is needed; all the information you will need to compete will be discussed at the Boot Camps or can be found here. For more resources to help you with the CSUF Business Plan Competition please go here.
Since the inaugural year of the CSUF Business Plan Competition we have seen a wide variety of business ideas make it to the finals. Whether your idea is a barbershop or a tech company your idea has the ability to go far in our competition if you make a compelling enough case for its success.
If you are interested in this competition please sign up for our CSUF Business Plan Competition Newsletter so that you will be kept up-to-date on all the latest information.
So what exactly is a patent troll?
A patent troll can be a person or an entity who attempts to enforce or protect patent rights. Typically, the patent troll is on the hunt for patent infringers with the hope of stopping the infringement while collecting money. This pursuit may include a lawsuit or the threat of a lawsuit.
Patent trolls are often companies which own a portfolio of patents. Unique to the troll firm is a strategy to exploit existing users of the patents (i.e. infringers); this path is chosen instead of using the patents for traditional business use such as manufacturing. The business model for the patent trolls is to make money by threatening or filing lawsuits
According to RPX Corporation, a firm that helps reduce company patent-litigation risk, patent trolls in 2012 filed more than 2,900 infringement lawsuits nationwide which nearly six times higher than the number in 2006. (Source: Wikipedia)
Some infringement threats can be described as being done in “bad faith” and may include a lack of specificity about the alleged infringement, extraordinary settlement demands and/or damage claims, and excessive licensing fees. Often these threats include impossibly short deadlines for payment.
The target or possible infringer can include companies that are large or small, with the small firms most unprepared to deal with the threats. Smaller firms and startups are targeted because these firms are often undercapitalized and cannot afford the legal fees necessary to fight the troll. In practice, the smaller firms and startups choose to settle rather than fight.
The US Senate has been monitoring this situation and various pieces of legislation are under review to deal with the trolls. In the meantime, the patent troll thrives.
For more information on Patent Trolling and how to combat them you should attend our event Patent Trolls and Other IP-Related Threats: How to Protect Your Business from a New Kind of Predator. REGISTER NOW!!!!
John Bradley Jackson
Center for Entrepreneurship
If you think that patent trolling is an issue that affects only large corporations, think again. Small businesses like yours are often targeted by patent trolls, with threats of lawsuits and litigation.
Learn more about this threat at:
Patent Trolls and Other IP-Related Threats:
How to Protect Your Business from a New Kind of Predator
Presented by: The CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship and CSUF Center for Family Business
Date: Wed., January, 22, 2014
Time: 6:00 p.m. (reception begins at 5:30 p.m.)
Location: Mihaylo College of Business and Economics
The O’Brien Center, Third Floor
800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton
At this seminar, panelists Roger N. Behle (IP litigator at Foley, Bezek, Behle & Curtis, LLP), Jerry Conrey (Principal at Conrey Insurance Brokers) and Dr. Robert Kovacev (Professor of Finance at CSUF) will discuss:
- The role of a patent troll and how to identify one
- Other intellectual property threats
- Current and pending legislation designed to address patent trolling
- Legal steps business owners should take when encountering a troll
- Candidates for insurance protection
Arm yourself with the knowledge to avoid becoming a victim and combat this growing problem. Register now and reserve your space today. Questions can be directed to Adrienne Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.