The recent flood of patent troll lawsuits shines a light on a major issue in the technology industry that is gaining more and more attention, not only of vendors but of lawmakers as well. Patent assertion entities—also known as "patent trolls"—make money by buying patents from companies and then asserting those patents against other companies that have products already on the market. Then they file lawsuits themselves and share any proceeds with the business that created the patent.
As of late, tech companies like Cisco and Google have been fighting back against these vicious patent trolls by signing cross-licensing patent deals with others in the industry. Meanwhile, vendor attorneys have been pushing for solutions to protect the companies and customers from being threatened with costly, unwarranted ligitation. In fact in December, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would require the patent firms to prove that their claims are justified or risk having to pay all of the litigation costs if they lose a case.