Overheard: Word of the Day

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» VIEW ALL POSTS Nov 27 2013   4:28PM GMT

Word of the Day: patent troll



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Tags:
Technology

Overheard

“The killer horror about software patents and their even vaguer cousins, business method patents, is that there are so many of them out there. So many of them are so stupidly broad that any software you write will almost certainly violate someone’s patent.” — Robin Miller

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is patent troll, an individual or an organization that purchases and holds patents for unscrupulous purposes such as stifling competition or launching patent infringement suits.

Patents frequently describe a general concept rather than a product or process; furthermore, the patent may not define what it protects in adequately precise terms. Both of those situations render the patent system vulnerable to abuse. In 2011, for example, a patent assertion entity called Innovatio threatened to sue 8,000 hotels, stores and coffee shops in the United States, claiming that the use of Wi-Fi infringed upon 17 of its patents. Continued…

Related terms:

patent
intellectual property
competitive advantage
competitive intelligence
full and open competition

Quiz Yourself

What is data sovereignty?
a. the concept that digital data is subject to the laws of the country in which it is located.
b. the management and oversight of an organization’s data assets.
Answer

Related Reading

Patent trolls invade the cloud: What the attack means for providers
Patent trolls are setting their sights on the cloud, looking to capitalize on an expanding market with plenty of complex software descriptions to exploit.

Business method patents ruling could spell relief from patent trolls
Business method patents have created a legal minefield, but the landscape may be altered by a court decision that could rewrite business method patent law.

In the CIO Searchlight
This week’s Searchlight covers clamp-downs on data brokering and patent trolling. Plus: Say it loud, say it proud, “The HealthCare.gov glitches are not IT’s fault.”

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