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Why the roots of patent trolling may be in the patent office

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.

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Clicker Heroes maker compares new lawsuit from “patent troll” to extortion

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.”

 

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Past News

A Look Forward on Patent Reform

As seen on Medium

Our nation’s patent system has been in need of serious reform for many years. So-called “patent trolls” — entities that don’t actually make or sell anything but that instead buy patent licenses merely to extort settlements — have become a serious drain on our economy. According to one study, patent trolls and their frivolous lawsuits cost our country nearly $80 billion per year.

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IPR Successes: Realtors Association Defends Its Members Using IPR

When you buy a house, it’s nice to know where the local schools are, where the closest park is, where a nearby grocery is.  So realtors commonly embed tools on their websites to show you a map of these “points of interest” in the area around a house for sale.

Unsurprisingly, using technology leads to non-practicing entities suing the realtors.  In this case, a pair of Texas-based realtors.

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