The Patent Holder's Dilemma: Buy, Sell, or Troll?
Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery, Vol. 1, pp. 36-44, 2007
9 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2009 Last revised: 8 Jun 2009
The road to an inspired technology-based innovation is rutted with legal loopholes and complex business considerations. This Article investigates the possible avenues (and pitfalls) for patent-protecting an invention. Once a patent is obtained, most inventors are faced with a trio of complicated decisions: sell the patent to an entity with the financial resources to turn the idea into a product, license the patent for future use, or aggressively search for possible infringements by the competition and litigate (an increasingly common practice pejoratively named “patent trolling”). This Article examines several proactive, profit-generating patent business models as well as defensive practices, ultimately calling for a reform of the current U.S. patent system.
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