The White House has released a Patent Assertion and U.S. Innovation Report, which cites the work of UC Hastings Professor Robin Feldman. Feldman's study found that nearly 60% of all patents are filed by "patent monetization entities," more commonly known as "patent trolls."
Widely regarded as a major problem in the U.S. patent law system, "patent trolls" are entities whose primary focus is deriving income from licensing and litigating patents. This new study analyzes data from five years' worth of patent litigation and concludes that patent trolls are indeed a significant obstacle to a well-functioning patent law system.
"The America Invents Act 500 Expanded: Effects of Patent Monetization Entities on US Litigation" is now publicly available.
This revelatory article confirms in dramatic fashion what many scholars and commentators have long suspected: patent monetization entities play a dominant role in a substantial portion of patent lawsuits filed today. The sheer number of cases has increased in recent years, as well as the percentage of overall case filings represented by patent trolls, rising from 22% of cases filed five years ago to almost 40% of cases filed last year. Further, because the study only looked at lawsuits filed, the wealth of cases that settle before trial compound the magnitude of the impact that patent trolls have on the patent system, and on the economy as a whole.