Will the Supreme Court Bail Out the Patent Trolls?

Barack Obama’s patent reform was controversial, but it did fight back against patent trolls abusing the courts. Now they’re trying to use the courts to undo that. Will they win?


The Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

What are patent trolls? Simply, patent trolls are companies that exist purely to leech off of inventive industries. They don’t do anything of value to anyone. They exist solely to game the system and use a never-ending stream of lawsuits in order to cull rents from the system. They abuse loopholes and mistakes in the law, find the most favorable courts in the country, and do so with no gain to anyone but the trolls and lawyers themselves.

Patent trolls were attacked by the America Invents Act, and the law enabled the Patent Office to nullify 19,000 bad patents that had been issued to patent trolls. The Constitution and the law don’t declare patents to be an unlimited right. Rather, patents exist to serve a purpose, and when patents don’t fulfill that aim, we as a people can reasonably shut them down.

The patent trolls, since they literally have nothing better to do than litigate endlessly, are naturally suing, and they’ve made it to the Supreme Court to try to get their fake patents back. The America Invents Act was a compromise bill, and if we lose this part of the compromise, that’s a bad deal for America.


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