At first glance, they seem like patent trolls. They don’t make anything. Their sole business is to license their patents and sue those who resist purchasing licenses.
So-called “patent privateers,” however, are a new and different breed. Because unlike patent trolls, patent privateers share their revenues with others—the companies whose patents they purchased.
Such opposition can arise, for instance, when in-house licensing executives go after some obvious targets—their company’s suppliers and customers. Such licensing efforts usually upset suppliers and customers, which in turn upset the company’s sales, marketing and manufacturing divisions. In the end, not surprisingly, the company’s top executives typically decide that maintaining good relations with customers and suppliers is more important than the patent licensing program.