In recent years, American companies have faced a growing threat from patent assertion entities derisively called “patent trolls.” These often shadowy firms make money by threatening patent lawsuits rather than creating useful products. A recent study suggests that the roots of the patent trolling problem may lie with the US Patent and Trademark office—specifically with patent examiners who fail to thoroughly vet patent applications before approving them.
Playsaurus, a small Los Angeles-based game studio that makes Clicker Heroes and the upcoming Clicker Heroes 2, has recently been threatened with a lawsuit if it doesn’t pay $35,000 for a patent licensing fee to cover a patent for “electronic tokens.”
In a Thursday blog post, the CEO of Playsaurus wrote that the company that sent him the letter, GTX Corporation, is a “patent troll.” CEO Thomas Wolfley called GTX’s demands to avoid “costly litigation” over Playsaurus’ use of electronic “Rubies” in its games “meritless.”
By Daniel Adrian Sanchez
As Seen In Digital Music News
Almost nothing is known about Venadium LLC other than an address that appear on court documents. Search engine results only turn up other large companies Venadium has sued, with exactly similar filing dates, making it likely that Venadium is only a company created to sue on the basis of a vague patent claim. These companies often earn the dubious award of being known as “patent trolls,” of which Venadium may qualify within frustrated tech circles. The Eastern District of Texas is a well-known breeding ground and lawsuit haven for dubious, ‘patent troll’ type cases, with an 88% win for plaintiffs in patent infringement lawsuits, compared to a nationwide average of 68% (at least back in 2006).
By Nick Skillicorn
As Seen In Inc
I want to get this out of the way right now. Because it’s the most depressing part of the patent system, and is actually hurting small companies trying to build innovative new businesses. The problem is that the system allows companies to get patents to which they are not actually entitled. And then use those patents to sue other companies who are actually working in that space! These companies are called “Patent Trolls”. They are usually shell corporations, that either file for a whole host of incredibly vague patents under the hope that some of them will be approved, or by buying up other vague patents. They then use these vague, fraudulent patents to sue companies which are small enough to not be able to defend themselves, or companies who will just want to settle immediately.