“Promise never to utter the “T”-word again”
by: Tom Hochstatter | August 11, 2017
[This is the second of a three part series dissecting the patent troll myth, exposing the actors still lurking to perpetuate it for ill-gotten advantage and a clear path forward for all us espousing the virtues of intellectual property. Part I and Part III]
In my last post, I posited that it’s high time to vanquish the quixotic visions those pesky efficient infringers have chosen to bestow upon the ethereal patent troll. So with adamant earnestness, I hereby, go first, and promise never to utter the “T”-word again (until after this blog series, sorry, if I try now it will read awkwardly).
I also hereby challenge each of you, my reader, to the same! Ready? Pinkies out; hooked; sworn.
Further, I do not want to belabor the histrionics of the term’s origins primarily because I don’t know them well (frankly, I never chose to go look) and what’s the point. It exists and that’s the address. Its daily recurring appearance, the now, is what’s important and the later is what’s most important.
Cry Wolf One More Time I Dare You
It appears clear to me that the only people and organizations (and US government officials) that continually use the term are attached to ill-fated agendas that lead from behind, legislate the fringe and do more harm than good. And I mean the press here too. I’ll be calling out every individual, government official and organization that leads with a Troll headline. I’ve got a dozen alerts set to find these – so don’t try hiding. I’ll be paying close attention to a few:
Entrepreneur – here: author hasn’t prosecuted a case since 2009. It’s the worst kind of fear mongering. Don’t bother to help educate the uninitiated SMB just scare the hell out of them instead. Our word for that: Jackassery!
Ars Technica – here and here. I respect the hell out of Joe’s reporting, but it’s time to move on. We even invited him to embed unrestricted with us at Dominion Harbor for a couple days to “see how the sausage was made” – no response…crickets.
Unified Patents (UP) – fear sellers of the worst kind. Shawn Ambwani, co-Founder – full of bluster online. They have one job (a shitty one, but just one) – invalidate “bad” patent at the PTAB. Yet, Patrick Anderson from Dominion Harbor did some homework on them and of the top filers at the PTAB they have the worst win record – bad patents or bad company? Hmmm.
Representative Issa – the ironic Congressman who made his fortune (emphasis added) – ENFORCING HIS OWN PATENTS. Now that he’s got his $250M+ and 37 patents – suddenly strong IP rights = bad. Let me know if you think of him as a troll and comment below.
So if the press and other individual authors think they need to beat the troll drum on some online media outlet I will be watching, closely. You will win; you will win my Jackassery award for poor and lazy journalism and worst of all for selling fear!
Some Patent Facts
Anyone with brain knows the Shipping & Transit or Personal Audio knuckleheads are just that; we don’t need another contrived puff piece trotting them out again and asserting we have some broad stroke, systemic problem. If you notice there aren’t any more of those and not because of the AIA or any other new law; they were destine to fail on their own – and they have…
Additionally, the now 5-6 year old Besser “research” (not providing a link!) has been WIDELY dismissed by dozens of academics & business leaders alike as flawed.
And when you do some quick “back-off-the-napkin” calculations on the percentages of patents and/or disaffect SMB “victims of a vicious Troll attacks” the numbers are staggering – LOW:
- Patents used to assert infringement stand at approximately 0.0005% of all active patents, and
- Number of (potentially) affected businesses across total US businesses stand at approximately 0.00019%.
This is a fringe issue at best and free markets tend to level the best medicine against fringe actors. We don’t need Congress or the USPTO to handle this. We’ve dealt with it in the streets.
It’s like pressing Congress for sweeping Wall Street financial reform because Bernie Madoff, convicted criminal, stole some $18 Billion from investors. A wildly tragic tale for sure, but his $18 Billion fraud is a rounding error to Wall Street on a single hour, maybe a single minute of trading…
This troll narrative is (indulge me) a patently false one, used by groups like the High Tech Inventors Alliance and those that have the most to lose if inventors find them infringing. Plain and simple it’s a manufactured distraction and you JackAssery-types are being played the fool. If you really had the facts, and could see first hand the immediate damage you’d likely be quite embarrassed with your story. [retractions accepted, often applauded]
Next up – taking my own advice; I’ll discuss how we move forward with education and celebration of those that actually do create value, help the innovation economy and most especially help inventors of all stripes get their ideas to market in the most productive & meaningful manner – despite the current legislative and judicial climate.