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Narratives and evidence in the litigation of high-tech patents

Colleen Chien has a paper in SSRN, dated April of 2009, that explores the narrative of patents, from the epithet of “troll” applied to patent owners who seek only to leverage their patent through licensing, and not application, and including our rather romantic perception of an inventor.

By Kristopher A. Nelson in

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Colleen Chien has a paper in SSRN, dated April of 2009, that explores the narrative of patents, from the epithet of “troll” applied to patent owners who seek only to leverage their patent through licensing, and not application, and including our rather romantic perception of an inventor:

While each patent dispute is unique, most fit the profile of one of a limited number of patent litigation stories. A dispute between an independent inventor and a large company, for instance, is often cast in “David v. Goliath” terms. When two large companies fight over patents, in contrast, they are said to be playing the “sport of kings.” Some corporations engage in “defensive patenting” in order to deter others from suing them. Patent licensing and enforcement entities who sue have been labeled “trolls.” Finally, observers of the patent system call the use of patent litigation to impose or exploit financial distress “patent predation.”

These stories, routinely invoked by the press, advocates, and academics, shape public understanding of the patent system. In this Article, I describe, then match, these stories to data on patent litigations to determine which types of suits are most prevalent. I focus exclusively on the litigation of high-tech patents, covering hardware, software, and financial inventions, using data from the Stanford Intellectual Property Clearinghouse for cases initiated in U.S. District Courts from January 2000 through March 2008.

via SSRN – Of Trolls, Davids, Goliaths, and Kings: Narratives and Evidence in the Litigation of High-Tech Patents by Colleen Chien.

Recommended reading for anyone interested in how our society, including the press, speaks about the patent system