How U.S. government invented ‘patent troll’ myth

In /


…  today there is a growing campaign by certain industry sectors and the government against patent holders that do not make any products but enforce their patent rights for licensing revenues, often pejoratively called patent “trolls.” …

This narrative of harmful patent assertion by non-practicing entities is not new. A century ago, the Wright aircraft company was accused by US government officials of causing such harm because it had attempted to enforce the Wright airplane patent, which it did not practice, by sending licensing demand letters to alleged infringers. …

We show using primary evidence that the origins of this century-old myth are factually unsupported letters of government manufacture used to persuade the President and Congress to authorize the appropriation of patented inputs at depressed royalty rates.

Read the article at OUPBlog.