Patent Trolling for Dummies

BY CCIA Staff
January 20, 2010

A step-by-step guide to the business of ‘being infringed’:

  1. Apply for or acquire vaguely worded, broad patents in areas where the business community is already investing money. When applying, look for areas where there is little focus on documenting prior art (e.g., technology integration, software, business methods, web design). When acquiring, seek out failing businesses trying to liquidate their patent portfolio in bankruptcy.
  2. Create a holding company for your new acquisitions, preferably one with “America” in the name. (actual residency optional).
  3. Send demand letters to small businesses that can’t afford to litigate. Offer them a license for less than the costs of litigating the case. Victims will settle even frivolous claims if the price is less than the cost of vindicating themselves.
  4. When suing, take advantage of lax venue laws to choose districts that are remote or known to be sympathetic to patent plaintiffs (e.g., Eastern District of Texas, Northern District of California). Alternatively, simply incorporate your shell company in a plaintiff-friendly district.
  5. Climb the food chain. Once you’ve secured licenses from smaller businesses, up the ante and sue medium size enterprises. Once you have a stable of companies licensing your vague patents, you graduate to Fortune 500 businesses and threaten to shut down their operations with an injunction.
  6. Get half a billion dollars in settlement. (Note: your mileage may vary)
  7. (optional) Sue your critics. Once potential whistle blowers see what they get for their troubles, they’ll think twice.

Related Articles

CCIA Encouraged By First Meeting of EU-U.S. Trade & Technology Council

Sep 29, 2021

Washington —  E.U. and US diplomats met Wednesday for the first Trade & Technology Council meeting in Pittsburgh. The meeting sought to rebuild the transatlantic partnership and to address global trade challenges. The two sides released a joint statement announcing principles and cooperation areas on issues including investment screening, export controls, and AI. The statement…

CCIA Applauds Introduction of Bi-Partisan Bills To Increase Diversity And Transparency In The Patent System

Sep 22, 2021

Washington – U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Ranking Member and Chair of the Senate Intellectual Property Subcommittee, and Thom Tillis (R-NC) have introduced two bipartisan bills that promote transparency and diversity in the U.S. patent system.  One bill would require recording at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office who owns a patent within 90…

The AIA At Ten: The Positive Impact of Inter Partes Review

Jul 12, 2021

The America Invents Act celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. This panel will examine perspectives from a variety of industries, ranging from life sciences to startups, on how the inter partes review process created in the AIA has improved patent quality, reduced patent litigation, and promoted progress in the innovation ecosystem.   The AIA At…