Legal Guide

Concept of Patent Troll 

by Shalini Vashistha · 3 min read

Patent Troll

Introduction

The concept of Patent Trolling arose out of Patents only, which is governed by The Patents Act of 1970. The patent in India was created to promote creativity and invention, which ultimately benefits the general population and the Patentee himself. In today’s time, Patent Trolling is increasing, and it is important to understand the concept of Patent Trolling correctly.

What is a Patent Troll?

A Patent Troll is also known as Non- A practicing entity. A Patent Troll is a business or individual who purchases patents from bankrupt or financially precarious organizations in order to profit by levying licensing costs against patent violators. After purchasing the patents, the Patent Trolls frequently have no intention of making or selling the items; instead, they just wish to profit from accusations of Infringement.

Law governing Patent Troll

  • Prior to the passage of the Patents (Amendment) Act of 2005, which clearly led to a drop in trolling activities, the practice of Patent Trolling was quite prevalent in India’s information technology and communications industries.
  • It would be important to highlight that the Indian patent law just poses a danger to Patent Trolls’ existence rather than outright forbids their existence. 
  • For instance, a granted patent must be utilized in India in accordance with Indian patent rules. 
  • Conversely, compulsory licensing may be triggered if a given patent is not developed or used in the Indian Territory for a period of three years. 
  • In addition, the Indian Patents Act mandates that at the conclusion of each fiscal year, a statement of a patent’s functioning must be filed. 
  • Additionally, if the patent owner were unable to submit such a declaration, he may be required to pay a fee or face imprisonment.

Working of Patent Troll

  • The troll’s principal line of work entails purchasing patents from failing businesses with the intention of subsequently exploiting them as legal threats.
  • Anyone who violates one of the troll’s patents will be threatened. The trolls may pursue legal action if the infringer doesn’t pay a license fee, which often costs a fortune.
  • The majority of the time, the Infringement allegations are untrue, and no laws pertaining to patents are broken.
  • The legal actions that the Patent Trolls bring against patent violators are sometimes exceedingly expensive. As a result, most infringers would rather pay the license charge than risk being sued.

Ways for protection against the Patent Troll

  • Thoroughly do your search, as nowadays, internet searches may be used to find out what previous art is available for the technologies and business processes that you employ. 
  • Become a member of a group organization that focuses on defending against Patent Trolls.
  • Keep in touch and follow the advice of an intellectual property lawyer at all times.
  • Make sure your ideas, products, and content are at least going through the patent approval process if they aren’t already patented.
  • Since the primary goal of trolling is to generate revenue, the trolling firm does not want to be in the public eye. So exposing Patent Troll companies can discourage Patent Trolls.

Some examples of Patent Troll

  1. Samsung India and Spice Mobiles vs. Somasundaram Ram KumarThe patentee, in this instance, was labeled a “Patent Troll” since he not only took advantage of the judicial system by upholding dubious patents but also wasn’t making use of them. Because Samsung and Spice Mobiles included elements that were covered by the patentee’s patents in their mobile phones, the patentee, in this case, filed a lawsuit against them for patent Infringement. The defendants, on the other hand, argued that the claimed characteristics did not constitute a technological advance beyond state of the art, claiming a lack of novelty and inventive steps. In light of this, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (“IPAB”) reached a decision in the defendant’s favor and canceled the contested patent.
  2. Not only in India but also in the US, the Patent Troll is a big issue. Some examples in the US are- Regarding a claim of patent infringement, Apple paid Network-1 Technologies $25 million in a settlement. A $625 million lawsuit involving the same invention was the subject of the same patent just a few years prior to Network-1 Technologies purchasing the patent.
  3. One such instance is the well-known Patent Troll Martin Kelly Jones, who, instead of suing Fortune 500 corporations for alleged patent infringement, issued demand letters to hundreds of tiny businesses in the United States.
  4. Netflix Patent Troll-Netflix recently unveiled a new download function called “CD-Rs by mail,” for which Blackbird Technologies filed a patent lawsuit against Netflix. Based on a patent application submitted in 2000, Netflix’s download function has been sued. Numerous “Methods and systems of digital data duplication” are covered by more than 362 of their patents. For instance, a lawsuit against DIRECTV recently reached a settlement. Black Bird Technology, a firm that only owns patents, is the owner of the “CD-Rs by mail” patent. The company’s main goal is to file a lawsuit and force the firms to pay a settlement.

Conclusion

Everyone appears to agree on the straightforward reasoning that claims everyone has a right to defend their patents. Patent Troll is an issue that is suffered by many businesses and individuals, who suffer losses that might take years to recover from and perhaps put them out of business they need to be protected against such Patent Trolls; that is why even the law system restricts Patent Troll. To know more about Patent Trolls, consult Company Lawyer here. 

Patent Troll is a growing issue in today's time, so it's important to know about Patent Trolls in detail. To know more about the concept of Patent Trolls, consult a Company Lawyer here.

Shalini Vashistha

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Shalini Vashistha

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