Ecco quanto costano i patent troll

Secondo alcuni recenti studi di James Bessen e Michael Meuer, i patent troll caricano sulle spalle della società costi diretti per 29 miliardi di dollari ogni anno. I costi indiretti sono circa 83 miliari o forse anche più alti.

The $29 billion number comes from measuring the more straightforward costs associated with fighting off patent troll suits: those include legal fees going to lawyers, and the licensing fees paid in tribute to make the trolls go away (which nearly always get paid). The findings come from a relatively small sample of 83 companies, both small and large.

Dei patent troll ho già parlato in passato sul blog di Working Capital. Sono dei parassiti che registrano brevetti a manetta senza utilizzarli per poter poi “chiedere il pizzo” alle imprese che utilizzano le tecnologie brevettate.

Ancora da Ars Technica:

Most of the costs of dealing with the patent troll threat come from paying the licensing fees that trolling companies demand to settle lawsuits. The mean amount spent by large companies to end an NPE lawsuit is $7.27 million, while small-to-medium sized companies spend $1.33 million.

That number doesn’t tell the full story, though. The median amount spent to pay off a troll suit is just $230,000 for large companies and $180,000 for small- and medium-size defendants. The discrepancy means that the great majority of trolls go away after getting relatively small payouts, while a few very strong entities in the patent-trolling business are able to pull off giant multimillion-dollar settlements. (Of course, the fact that low six-figure settlements are seen as the “small” ones suggests how entrenched and lucrative the NPE business is.)

The second-largest cost is, unsurprisingly, fees paid to defense lawyers. Big companies spend a mean of $1.52 million per litigation, while small- and medium-sized companies spend $420,000. Again, those compare to much lower median figures ($230,000 for large companies and $70,000 for small/medium), showing that the companies have a large number of cheaply defended cases, while a few heavily litigated cases run up big fees.

Sono stronzi? Boh, possiamo dire di sì. La mia opinione tuttavia è che si limitino a sfruttare a proprio vantaggio il sistema di tutela della proprietà intellettuale esistente. Se limitassimo la durata della protezione concessa dal brevetto e rendessimo più ardua la sua registrazione, con tutta probabilità fenomeni del genere scomparirebbero o diventerebbero insignificanti.

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Comments

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