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Patent trolls

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Sunday July 2, 2006 )

It’s not a fishing method, nor is a patent troll a small, foul tempered creature with a penchant for living under bridges and attacking those who come near – although some would argue perhaps the latter is pretty close :).

If you have an ecommerce idea you believe to be unique, or an online innovation you’re sure that nobody has thought of; tread carefully.. you may find it’s already patented, even if it’s not currently actively in production or marketed.

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Patent Trolls; companies that acquire masses of patents for the sole purpose of catching out other unsuspecting companies who may have inadvertently infringed, or appear to have infringed, on the patents they hold. Their goal is to set a trap for the unsuspecting and then squeezing as much cash out of their victims as they possibly can – either through outrageous royalty payment demands, or very expensive lawsuits.

Before you sink serious time and cash into your unique concept, or that of others, this latest article I’ve published on Patent Trolls you may find of value.


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