In Defense of Patent Trolls: Patent Assertion Entities As Commercial Litigation Funders

Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 36–66.

32 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2016

See all articles by Jean Xiao

Jean Xiao

Vanderbilt University - Law and Economics

Date Written: November 22, 2016

Abstract

This paper is the first to defend and commend the role of patent trolls in litigation. It argues that trolls either are not the sole source of patent litigation ills or are not responsible for these ills in the first place. Next, it demonstrates that trolls provide the same litigation-related benefits as commercial litigation funders, which also finance patent lawsuits. Troll commentators have ignored these benefits, for which funders are praised, in the evaluation of trolls. Finally, this paper explains that eliminating trolls will not only close off a source of these benefits but also worsen problems by shifting trolling behavior to practicing entities and increasing investment in funders. In sum, though patent litigation is plagued with problems, targeting troll plaintiffs in reform efforts is not the answer to solving them.

Keywords: patent trolls, commercial litigation funding, patent, investment, attorney-client privilege, work-product doctrine

Suggested Citation

Xiao, Jean, In Defense of Patent Trolls: Patent Assertion Entities As Commercial Litigation Funders (November 22, 2016). Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 36–66., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2883214

Jean Xiao (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law and Economics ( email )

Nashville, TN
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/phd/students/jeanxiao.php

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