The term “patent troll” is controversial to say the least. Some would say that its mere existence is an attempt at propaganda meant to belittle patent holders. The terms “non-practicing entity” (NPE) and “patent assertion entity” (PAE) take more of a neutral stance, but the incendiary term “troll,” with its warty, ugly connotation, has taken hold in the public consciousness.
And the U.S. government has certainly taken note of the public’s distaste for companies that bring patent suits that are deemed as “troll-like” (or, in some cases, gangster-like). But the federal government tends to move slowly when it comes to intellectual property law, and its unclear whether they will take action to stem the rising tide of patent lawsuits. If the government wishes to put a nail in the coffin of patent trolls, it needs look no further than the European Union, which is adopting a tenant of the British legal system to make truly troll-like suits economically unsound.