Monday, November 13, 2017

Patent and Copyright Trolls

Patent and Copyright Trolls are often called non-practicing entities.  These descriptions refer to actors who legitimately own intellectual property in the form of current patents or copyrights, but rather than using them to further commerce or science through research, development or licensing activities, they actively seek opportunities to profit through aggressive infringement litigation and settlement strategies.  These players are annoying at best and expensively dangerous to progress at worst.  The public policy behind intellectual property ownership is designed to reward innovators and creative efforts with government protection while ideas and forms of expression can be fully developed to move society forward.  Large corporations often devote significant capital and time into accumulating large patent portfolios of their own largely as a defensive mechanism against the various forms of Troll organizations.  Here is an earlier post discussing an example for a unique customer offering from Microsoft with its Azure platform regarding intellectual property defense.

This article by David Thompson is an interesting read around the potential role of the open source community to address this problem and is well worth your time.

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