How operating companies can stop patent trolls: Cut off the ammo


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70% of troll suits use patents from real companies. Will "license-on-transfer" fix things?

by Joe Mullin - July 9 2014

 



 

Six tech companies have kicked off a new program that they hope will put a major dent in patent trolling, even with Congress unable to pass patent reform.

It's called the License on Transfer (LOT) Network, founded today by Google, Newegg, Canon, Dropbox, SAP, and teamwork-software startup Asana. The idea behind LOT is that members put all their patents in a pool, which is immediately licensed to every other company in the network—if, and only if, they're ever sold (transferred) outside the network. That would include a sale to a patent troll or a hostile non-network competitor.

That means that as long as the patents aren't sold, they can be used both defensively (if needed to counter-sue a competitor) or offensively (if a company believes a competitor is infringing). But the patents can't be used by trolls to sue any member companies.

 

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