Patent trolls: Crushing entrepreneurs’ dreams one lawsuit at a time
June 24, 2015
Not inventors, patent trolls make money by buying existing patents and then suing other companies for infringement
Innovation is the fuel that powers America’s economic engine and sets the United States apart from many other nations. Much of this country’s strength depends on an atmosphere in which entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors can turn great ideas into products and companies, creating millions of jobs and billions of dollars in profits in the process. But that capitalist paradise has also given rise to what are called patent trolls: people or companies that buy or license existing patents and then cash in by suing or threatening to sue other companies for infringement. Critics say frivolous lawsuits by trolls force small companies to spend millions of dollars they can’t afford to defend themsleves, stifling innovation and costing the economy hundreds of billions of dollars each year. David Ariosto has the story of one entrepreneur whose saw his dreams get crushed.