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Patent trolls and non-practicing entities: a tale of intellectual property excesses

Bonadio, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-1078-4323 & Contardi, M. (2021). Patent trolls and non-practicing entities: a tale of intellectual property excesses. Revista La Propiedad Inmaterial(32), pp. 37-70. doi: 10.18601/16571959.n32.02


A “patent troll” is a company that obtains a variety of patents without conducting research and development, e. g. by acquiring them in the market, and without any intention to work the underlying inventions by producing and/or selling products. Such company then approaches other firms which are merely suspected of using the patented invention with threats of patent infringement suits and demands for (often high) royalties. This article looks into this phenomenon criticising what many views as an abusive behaviour by non-practicing entities. It builds upon the US case Blackbird v. Cloudflare, started by a boutique law firm which is well-known for taking lawsuits against more than 50 different defendants in a single year.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license.
Publisher Keywords: Intellectual Property-Patents; Patent Trolls; Non-Practising Entities (NPE); Abuse of (Patent) Rights; Innovation
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
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