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Antitrust law

University of Michigan Law School

2016

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Patent Privateers And Antitrust Fears, Matthew Sipe Jul 2016

Patent Privateers And Antitrust Fears, Matthew Sipe

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Patent trolls are categorically demonized as threatening American innovation and industry. But whether they are a threat that antitrust law is equipped to deal with is a complex question that depends on the particular type of patent troll and activities they engage in. This Article looks specifically at privateer patent trolls: entities that acquire their patents from operating entities and assert them against other industry members. In the particular context of privateering, antitrust law is almost certainly not the proper legal solution. Privateering does raise significant issues: circumventing litigation constraints, evading licensing obligations, and raising the cost and frequency of …