by John Malcolm, Andrew Kloster
The Heritage Foundation
January 09, 2014
Backgrounder
The term “patent troll” conjures up images of short, grotesque, hairy creatures that act like humans but have little redeeming social value. It has also arisen as convenient shorthand for those bad actors who abuse the patent litigation system. Yet not every patent holder who chooses not to use his or her patent lives under a bridge and eats passersby. Indeed, there are a number of legitimate reasons for not using a patent. While patent reform is essential to continued economic growth, the devil is in the details, and the proper way to address patent reform is by using some of the same means and methods that would likely work against “ambulance chasers” or other bad actors who exist in other areas of the law.



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