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Will patent “trolls” drive up litigation fees and in-house patent costs?

An IP blog, hosted by William Heinze, cites a presentation by Peter Detkin, Managing Director, Intellectual Ventures, who defined “trolls” as “non-practicing entities in technology.” Detkin said, according to the Jan. 5, 2006 post, that “’Trolls’ are only about 2 percent of patent litigation.”

An article in Fast Company, Jan/Feb. 2006 at 79 profiles what some might consider a troll, Forgent Networks, whose primary asset is a patent for software involved in JPEG image compression. Since 2002, Forgent’s 20 employees have collected $105 million in licensing fees from 50 companies. Lawyers working on a contingency basis have retained 50 percent or so of the settlement funds.