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Small business patents cause business litigation

Massachusetts residents and business owners may be interested in learning about patent assertion companies and how they relate to business litigation in Worcester and other areas of the state. Patent assertion companies, known in the vernacular as "patent trolls," buy patents from small inventors and then use them to sue businesses they feel are infringing upon those patents.

Because patent assertion companies may hold a large amount of patents, but do not necessarily make anything, the Obama administration and the patent reform advocates are trying to curb the practice. Reformers claim that patent trolls slow down innovation and the patent system. The Santa Clara University School of Law reported that lawsuits initiated by patent assertion companies consisted of 61 percent of all patent cases in the year 2012.

However, an owner of one patent assertion company claims that his business is beneficial, especially to small inventors who would otherwise have no capability to defend their intellectual property against the giant corporations looking to gain control of their inventions. However, his company offers inventors a cut of the damages won as a result of any lawsuits regarding their patents. Additionally, his company only takes cases to court that it believes it can win.

An attorney who practices business and commercial law may provide a valuable service to Massachusetts residents and businesses who feel that their intellectual property rights have been violated. They may feel that the cost of litigation is too high; however, by evaluating the details of intellectual property disputes, a knowledgeable attorney may be able to help those seeking retribution from those whom they believe violated their patents.

Source: CNN Money, "Patent troll: 'I'm ethical and moral'", David Goldman, July 02, 2013

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