A new report by a law professor at Santa Clara University found that patent trolling is on the rise. For the first time ever, more than half of all patent lawsuits in the US in 2012 were filed by individuals and companies that do not create technology themselves but instead acquire patents to sue other firms.
These companies, more commonly known as patent trolls, have accounted for 61% of all patent lawsuits filed through December 1st, compared to 45% in 2011 and 23% in 2007.
Professor Colleen Chien revealed that “more suits are being brought by entities that don’t make anything than those that do,” adding that more than ever lawsuits are being filed against startups. Roughly 35% of startups that have raised $50 million to $100 million have been sued for patent infringement, Chien said, while 20% of new companies that have raised $20 million to $50 million have seen lawsuits brought against them.