How to Deal With Patent Trolls?

Many inventors have often pondered on how to deal with patent trolls. Patent trolls are one of the hazards to innovation and the financial system.

Congressional Analysis Service research indicates that patent litigation reduces enterprise capital investments for startups and lowers R&D spending. Analysis by Catherine E. Tucker showed that "lawsuits can distract the administration from growing new and revolutionary merchandise, and should trigger them to disregard merchandise focused by lawsuits, along with the extra apparent litigation price." Some estimates put the cost of patent trolls on the financial system at over $29 billion in a 12-month period.

So what can you do about patent trolls?

  1. Don’t freak out – Maintaining your composure will allow you to deal with trolls methodically and in a practical manner.
  2. Do your analysis – Review your paperwork, court dockets, and websites to learn as much as possible about individuals behind the lawsuit. Through your own investigating, you will become better prepared to deal with the troll.
  3. Do not settle - If you’re 100 percent sure that the lawsuit is frivolous, don’t consider settling.
  4. Watch and wait – Many times a troll will lose interest if they see no reaction. Watch for actions and prepare in the background.
  5. Ask particular questions - Ask very particular questions concerning the case, the patent, the events concerned, and how your organization was supposedly infringing. Asking for specific information about the infringement shifts the effort to the troll. Ask them for detailed explanations and request that they send you a declaration statement citing their evidence and definitions.
  6. Use online assets - Patent fights can be prolonged, costly, and exhausting. Fortunately, there are many online tools and sources that can help. Probably the greatest source is the USPTO website, which will tell you what to do if you have been served with an infringement discovery or subpoena.
  7. Cry poor - Since a majority of patent trolls are in it for the cash, do not be afraid to inform them you do not have the financial resources to face both an expensive settlement or court docket case. Some experts even go so far as to suggest reaching out to the troll to share monetary information in a confidential call. You could also possibly get in contact personally with the patentee to indicate that you do not have the money to settle this downside. Trolls can often times lose interest if they realize that blood is not going to be drawn from a stone.
  8. Expose the troll - Trolls aren’t looking for headlines. You could take an assertive approach by suggesting a press launch, writing a weblog, or utilizing social media or regular print advertising to put out your story.
  9. Show the claims are invalid - Search for contradictions within the patents, research all of the examinations, and do a patent and nonpatent search for prior artwork. Actions like this may occasionally provide you with sufficient proof to have the matter settled - before walking into a costly courtroom case. In brief, to show these claims are false, it's essential to have all of your proof lined up and ready to go.
  10. Discover who is behind these claims - You probably already know who's behind the lawsuit and who's representing your troll. Apart from getting in contact with these people and asking them particular questions, knowing your adversary will direct your focus. For example, if you uncover that they've done this before, you can see how the matter was resolved earlier by contacting previous targets and attorneys, who may be very helpful.
  11. Be ready - the easiest way to take care of a troll is to be ready. For example, this begins by properly, from the start, ensuring that current patents have completely nothing to do with your corporation and products.

Are you dealing with a patent troll? Help is available by posting your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. Lawyers on Upcounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Menlo Ventures and Google.