The Economic Impact of Lawsuits by Patent Trolls

01.30.2012 - By Boston University School of Law

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Patent litigation has taken off in recent decades. While many of the most visible patent lawsuits are initiated by major technology companies seeking to gain leverage over competitors, an increasing number are brought by patent trolls—firms that acquire patents with no intention of developing a technology with them, but instead use them to threaten practicing companies with litigation over alleged infringements. In this BU Law podcast, host David Yas, a BU Law alum, former publisher of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and a V.P. at Bernstein Global Wealth, joins James E. Bessen, lecturer in law at Boston University School of Law and a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, to talk about his paper, The Private and Social Costs of Patent Trolls. Together they discuss the economic impact of the surge in lawsuits by patent trolls, the potential for legislation to solve this problem, and how the patent war is ultimately affecting innovation.

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