Stand up to patent trolls

Daniel L Jaffe

The momentum is on our side to nip this challenge in the bud.

At a time when Washington, D.C., appears to be broken and policymakers cannot agree on anything, one issue seems to be gaining both momentum and bipartisan support — combating the growing business of patent trolling and the serious impact it has on companies both large and small.

Patent trolls (also known as patent-assertion entities or PAEs) are firms that purchase broad patents created by others solely for the purpose of suing, or threatening to sue, legitimate companies that use certain technologies, devices, or business methods. The marketing industry is particularly vulnerable to these claims, the vast majority of which are for computer or communications technologies — tools commonly used in the development of interactive advertising. Some of the technologies that have been the target of patent trolls include QR codes, mobile apps, text messaging, video streaming, and social media apps.