A Typology of Patent Trolls

Author: Tim Pohlmann

Motivation & Goal:

Patent trolls have many faces, since the media uses the expression in various cases. The patent troll phenomenon thus seems to be an ambiguous term that is discussed in several directions. This paper reveals that a patent troll as such does not have a distinct  shape of appearance. Analysis redeems a troll classification from firms’ characteristics and shows that a troll can only be defined by its behavior of enforcing its IPR. Using 10 cases out of which four are treated in detail, the analysis reveals a distinct typology of troll behavior. Consequently any corporation could be a patent troll when a certain behavior is distinctly identified.

Open Problems:

The main parts are yet in German. To even better define a troll typology more in depth case analysis are needed.



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