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The Patent Troll

Jul 13, 2009, 20:04 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Heather Skyler)

"Spangenberg does not like the term, and considers himself more of a hybrid because he is involved in other business ventures as well, but he is well-known, even notorious as a troll. Google his name and many articles pop up, most denouncing his patent practices, his “shell” companies. One MarketWatch article claims Spangenberg has been publicly named as the “nemesis of the technology industry.”

"Spangenberg estimates there are about 100 patent trolls—non-practicing entities is the more technical term—in the United States. And though they may be few, their impact is significant. In a recent Senate hearing on the the Patent Reform Act of 2009, the CEO of Micron Technology made the case for reforming the patent system to discourage lawsuits by trolls. He stated that last year alone Micron spent $30 million on patent litigation, mostly defending the company’s many patents against NPEs. He also noted a significant rise in these types of suits, as well a sharp increase in the amount of money they award. According to testimony, there was only one patent-damages award in history larger than $100 million prior to 1990. In the past seven years, there have been at least 15 judgments and settlements in that category, with at least five topping $500 million."

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