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 Files Joint Amicus Brief Asking Court To Re-Hear Standard Essential Patents Case

Apr 21, 2022

Washington – The Computer and Communications Industry Association was joined by The App Association, High Tech Alliance, and the Public Interest Patent Law Institute in filing a joint amici brief Wednesday evening with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit requesting that the Panel re-hear a case involving standard essential patents (SEPs) en…

Economic Study Finds Congressional Antitrust Bills to Cost Consumers, Business Users $319 Billion

Mar 22, 2022

Washington — A comprehensive economic study by National Economic Research Associates (NERA) finds that proposed antitrust legislation in Congress could cost the economy $319 billion. The result would be increased costs and loss of services for consumers, small businesses and other users of the bills’ target companies — Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.  The…

CCIA Response To Senate Judiciary Committee’s Announced Markup of Bill Aimed At Handful of Companies

Jan 11, 2022

Washington —  The Senate Judiciary Committee has noticed a markup of S. 2992, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, aimed at regulating a specific group of American digital service providers. The proposed regulation represents a shift from the market-oriented principles that have characterized U.S. economic policy. It would have a severe impact on U.S.…