Paul Roeder

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Patent Litigation Investors Follow the Money to the ITC

The avalanche of patent assertion entities (PAE) cases, in the ITC and District Court, exists because the PTO issues hundreds, if not thousands of patents that can be asserted against every minute feature and functionality of tech products and services. The overwhelming majority issued to so-called inventors who played no part in developing these features and functionalities, including to patent mills that specialize in stalking the development of technology standards and obtaining claims they hope will read on those standards. And tech patent applications often pend (through continuations) for 10 years or more, enabling patentees to intentionally draft claims to read on existing products and services. In fact, these euphemistically entitled “early priority date” patents are the grist of tech patent litigation today, including PAE cases in the ITC.