A New Troll Feeds on Patent Trolls

This has to be one of my favorite stories this year: it seems that patent trolls are the victims of extortion by a new breed of troll (registration required).

Here’s the scenario: a patent troll files a suit (or suits) and wins a big judgment. Another company then files an inter partes review petition with the PTAB against the patent troll’s patent and demands a payoff from the patent troll in exchange for withdrawing the petition. If the troll doesn’t pay, it risks losing its patent in the IPR.

I would be more upset about this if I could stop laughing, although it’s hardly a positive development. It can’t be good to have more trolls, even if their victims are patent trolls. Unless of course this new twist helps spotlight dysfunctionality in the patent system for the new Congress.

I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from the great William Shatner in Airplane 2:

Or, a more musical version of the same idea: