Under Attack by a Patent Troll? Find an Attorney
The Law School Patent Troll Defense Network is a nationwide group of law schools, law students and lawyers, working together to provide free legal services to app developers and other small business entrepreneurs that are threatened by patent trolls. The Network was convened and is administered by the Application Developers Alliance.
Frequently Asked Questions:
+ What is the App Developers Alliance Law School Patent Troll Defense Network?
- The Patent Troll Law School Clinic Network is a nationwide group of law schools, law students and lawyers, working together to provide free legal services to app developers and other small entrepreneurs that are threatened by patent trolls. The Network was convened and is administered by the Application Developers Alliance.
+ What is a Patent Troll?
- “Patent Assertion Entities” (also known as trolls) are companies that buy (usually inexpensive poor-quality) – patents, and use them as a basis for demanding royalty payments from other companies while threatening to sue non-compliant companies. Frequently trolls do not disclose what patents they own, or what specific functionality of a technology is infringing. Instead the troll challenges the entrepreneur to hire expensive lawyers and fight, while simultaneously offering to settle the claim less expensively than the lawyers will cost.
- Settling with trolls often requires an up-front payment, continuing revenue share payments, agreeing to issue a press release that praises the troll’s technology and “fair licensing terms,” and signing a non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreement that stops the “victim” from speaking freely about this extortion.
+ Why don’t more companies fight back?
The average patent litigation costs defendants $2.5 million. Even short cases, including summary judgment victories, generally cost up to $300,000.
One entrepreneur who successfully defeated a troll spent more than $100,000 of his own money, and then the troll appealed the defeat and tried to bankrupt the entrepreneur. Another small company that defeated a troll would have spent $190,000, but fortunately he found lawyers who worked for free.
+ How is the App Developers Alliance Law School Patent Troll Defense Network helping small companies?
- The Alliance is working with law school, law students and lawyers who are offering free legal services to small companies that are threatened or attacked by patent trolls. By working together, the Alliance and the law students hope to dissuade small companies from paying trolls just to avoid the costs of fighting, and to thereby make patent trolling less lucrative and dissuade investors from funding trolls.
If a patent troll has threatened your company, fill out this application for assistance and someone from the Alliance or the Clinic Network will be in touch very soon.