White Paper (Part I): Current State of Patent Trolls and How to Fight Them If You're Ever Targeted
Patent trolls, the epitome of greed, thoughtlessness, and unethical behavior, are impacting the survival, growth, and development of printing and related companies.
The printing industry in the United States has been in a state of decline over the past 20 years (from approximately 55,000 companies to under 30,000 today). Traditionally a low-profit industry, printing companies and their suppliers are trying to find ways of increasing products and services focusing on digital technologies and related applications in order to increase profits and to save jobs. Patent trolls are inhibiting such growth and are causing companies to consider closing, downsizing, and laying off employees because they cannot afford to absorb the huge fees being demanded by the trolls, while also maintaining or growing business. The trolls are equivalent to extortionists with no sense of business morals and ethics, or of the nation’s push to grow companies, produce jobs, and keep or bring back as much business as possible to the United States.
The hypothesis of this study is that companies faced with the threat of patent troll litigation should not settle by paying license fees, but should partner in pooling resources to pursue invalidation of the patents in question. Such challenges are often won, and between 35% and 85% of patents being invalid has been reported.
The research methods used in this study include a review of the related literature, a case study of three patents of questionable validity claimed by two patent troll plaintiffs to be infringed upon by printing industry companies, and a survey of present defendants and those who were already sued and opted to settle out of fear and intimidation.
Click here to read the full white paper with advice on what a printer should do if faced with a patent litigation threat, how recent patent troll cases have played out in the courts and available resources.