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Patent Trolls

•, William J. Watkins Jr.
 Using overbroad patents based on dated technology, trolls threaten litigation and bring infringement suits against inventors. Trolls, also known as Non-Practicing Entities ("NPEs"), typically do not produce products or services, but are in the business of litigation. They lie in wait for someone to create a process or product that has some relationship to the patent held by the troll, and then they pounce with threats and lawsuits. The cost to the economy is staggering. Watkins calls attention to this problem and the challenges it poses to maintaining a robust rate of technologically progress. He also examines a more fundamental problem: an outmoded patent system that is fundamentally ill suited for the modern economy. Finally, he examines proposals for reforming the patent system.

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