Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Patent Troll Business: An Efficient model to enforce IPR?

Pohlmann, Tim and Opitz, Marieke (2010): The Patent Troll Business: An Efficient model to enforce IPR?

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Abstract

Patent trolls have many faces, since the media uses this expression in various ways. The patent troll phenomenon thus seems to be an ambiguous term that is discussed in several directions. This paper reveals that a patent troll as such has no distinct shape or appearance. Our analysis redeems a troll classification solely from firms’ market position, such as being non-practicing, and shows that a patent troll business can only be defined by the respective activities to enforce IPR. Using 10 cases, of which five are treated in detail, the analysis reveals a distinct typology of the troll business. This paper is furthermore able to identify troll behavior to be: a) an efficient mechanism to enforce IP rights and b) a strategy that yields excessive license fees and causes inefficient negotiation costs.

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