les Nouvelles - December 2006

Patent Trolls: A Stereotype Causes A Backlash Against Patents And Licensing

John C. Paul

Attorney, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP

D. Brian Kacedon

Attorney, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP

Michael V. O’Shaugnessy

Attorney, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP

From the many well publicized success stories there is broad awareness that patent licensing can provide a good source for generating revenue. This holds true not just for large corporations like IBM but also for smaller organizations and inventors without the resources to commercialize inventions on their own. But there is growing public sentiment that patent licensing has been too good to the wrong people .those who have neither developed nor commercialized the patented technology they license and who inappropriately have been characterized as undeserving to license and enforce their legal rights in the patents.the so called patent trolls. Coupled with a growing public sentiment that bad patents or patents of dubious quality are being granted by the Patent Office and asserted by licensing companies an environment of hostility towards patents and patent licensing is being generated and reflected in the media.

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