Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton
But the opposite is happening. These patent trolls don't commercialize their inventions. They don't take on the risks of developing a product and bringing it to market. Other companies like Apple do all of the hard work and assume all of the risks, while the patent holder sits back waiting for their payday. If the product fails, the patent troll doesn't lose a dime. If the product is successful, the patent troll files a lawsuit in East Texas, claiming "damages."
The vast number of patents are NOT owned by trolls. The rare situation of a troll suing doesn't affect inventiveness at all, even though it's annoying.
Besides, the entire point of patents is to FORCE others to find other ways of doing something. That's where innovation comes from. It doesn't necessarily come from any one patent being used or not.
In this sense, even a lawsuit from a troll aids innovation. If a company doesn't want to pay them, let them find another way of doing it, that's the entire point.
If they don't want to, or that can't, well, then the patent has value, doesn't it? It really doesn't matter who licenses it. What's the difference if IBM invents a portfolio of patents, and then decides that it's not where they want to go,and they don't want to bother licensing them, and so sells that portfolio to another company? Nothing! IBM gets some value from their inventions, and others can license them from whomever bought them instead of IBM. No difference.
But, of course, IBM is the largest patent winner, and does license out most, but not all of them.