Patent trolls are not a new problem for business owners. For years, businesses have dealt with non-practicing entities (NPEs) focused on using patents as a legal weapon. Rather than creating a new product or process, they use their resources to purchase broad patents and threaten profitable companies with infringement litigation.
“Trolling for patent settlements” can be a lucrative practice. In fact, patent litigation is estimated to reach an all-time high by the end of 2015, the majority of which will have been initiated by NPEs against technology companies.
Unified Patents is a company that monitors NPE activity. A breakdown of their data from the first half of the year showed that NPEs initiated approximately 90 percent of all patent litigation – a trend they expected to continue through the close of the calendar year. Of the NPEs initiating litigation, 94.1 percent were patent assertion entities and operating companies.
With 25 percent of all filings, Apple was the tech company with the biggest target on its back, but it was not alone. Actavis, Amazon and Samsung (with affiliates combined) also drew significant attention from patent trolls.
Patent trolls rely on a company’s desire to avoid prolonged and expensive litigation, anticipating that those who receive their threats will choose to pay for licensing instead of going to court.
With the high risk of NPE litigation, every tech company in business today should have an experienced patent attorney on hand. For companies facing patent litigation, a lawyer with technical expertise is equal to the need for legal expertise.
Emerson Thomson Bennett, LLC is an intellectual property law firm that is as innovative as the clients we represent.
We focus only on domestic and international intellectual property law solutions. Our registered patent attorneys have more than 85 years of combined litigation experience, but their insight extends well beyond understanding the law and the United States Patent and Trademark Office procedures.
In the legal realm, the word experience is often a pretext for expensive and inflated hourly fees, but not at Emerson Thomson Bennet, LLC. Our attorneys provide aggressive representation and develop thorough, tactical strategies, but we do so in a cost-effective manner.
Visit our IP Litigation page to read more about our practice and our notable cases.