Last week, news broke that the patent-holding company Intellectual Ventures sued Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. for patent infringement. The notorious patent troll claims that 18 Motorola products infringe on six of its patents. The suit made headlines because of the awkward position in which it places Google: While the Internet giant backs Intellectual Ventures, it also plans to purchase Motorola.
Intellectual Ventures has received flak for its patent-trolling tactics. But lately, patent litigation hasn’t been so profitable for so-called trolls. According to a recent Boston University study, more than a dozen publicly listed trolls barely broke even during the past decade.