Michael Risch of Villanova University School of Law has taken a limited look at “patent trolls,” non-practicing entities, with a goal to understanding their role, including “testing” NPE “criticism” and “justifications.”
Risch concludes most of the factual criticisms of NPEs do not bear out:
- NPEs are not a new phenomenon;
- The patents litigated by NPEs are no dominated by business method patents;
- The patent quality of the studied patents did not appreciably differ from that of other litigated patents; and
- Very few of the companies supplying patents to NPEs are out of business.
- Evidence does not support that NPEs provide a market for patents;
- In few cases are NPEs vindicating the rights of small companies forced out of business by infringers.