by William J. Watkins, Jr., Reason
William J. Watkins Jr., a research fellow at the Independent Institute, is the author of the August monograph Patent Trolls: Predatory Litigation and the Smothering of Innovation. Watkins’ book argues that patent lawsuits from “nonpracticing entities”—”patent trolls” who accumulate intellectual property just to sue people using similar ideas—cost the U.S. economy billions and deter the diffusion of ideas. In September, Watkins described three important patent lawsuits:
- In NTP Inc. v. Research in Motion Ltd. (2005), patent troll NTP brought an infringement action to shut down the BlackBerry system and settled the case for $612.5 million. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ultimately reexamined NTP’s patents and found they were invalid. Read the entire story.