Nilay Patel has written an editorial on patent policy worth saving. Mainly, he answers critics of the patent system, those who say “it is broken,” not by blindly defending what exists, but rather by explaining why it exists and how it can be better.
Embedded in the piece is a rational discussion of patent “trolls,” or non-practicing entities. Patel does not defend NPEs, but he does respect patents as intellectual property, their inherent value, and the undesired effects on that value that would result from heavily regulating NPEs. “If some inventor wants to sell a patent to Intellectual Ventures…it’s how they’re realizing value for their invention.”
Patel also dismisses the “if they don’t make anything they shouldn’t be allowed to assert patent rights” argument as being too broad. “…it would…prevent institutions like universities and research firms from gaining any value from their patents.”