The joy of patents, part 3: Patent trolls degrade innovation

January 05, 2017 // By Scott Deuty
Definitions are loose and shifting and identifying them is difficult but Scotty Deuty rails against the "patent troll."

Normally one starts out a blog with an introduction instead of a closing statement such as: "In 2011, United States business entities incurred $29 billion in direct costs," due to patent trolls, infringement lawsuits, and the like.

The bottom line is patent trolls cost companies money spent on defense that could otherwise be spent on new innovations. Not only do they use salaries for lawyers that could be spent on engineers, the payments also cost dearly as indicated by this excerpt: "firms forced to pay patent trolls reduce R&D spending, averaging $211 million less than firms having won a lawsuit against a troll."

The majority of this blog will reference the Wikipedia subject of “ Patent Troll ” as it is most inclusive.

As a blogger, I’m more interested in introducing a subject for debate than giving credit to one source. I often investigate a number of sources. After looking at only a few, I really wasn’t getting any new information. On occasion, one source provides enough background on a subject to start the discussion. In addition to that, Wikipedia does a lot of the leg work for me by researching the topic and providing references to their findings.

Patent trolls have many definitions and the definition itself has seen quite a bit of evolution and change. Currently it refers to an entity that uses patents to make life miserable for others. Most entities are companies that enforce patent rights against infringers. Worse yet is that these companies are all about profiting from the threat and rarely about using the patent for profit by implementing the invention. These underhanded methods are even more deviant when one considers that the patents are obtained from those experiencing hard luck while the enforcement is beyond the “good circle” of the original patent into the area of remote claims that cast a net much larger than intended by the inventor. In other words, it's