Last week, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget approved the FTC’s request to study how patent assertion entities (PAEs or, less charitably, patent trolls) operate and to what extent they affect competition and innovation. The study was originally proposed in September 2013 and modified this past May in response to public comment.
- How do PAEs organize their corporate legal structure, including parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates?
- What types of patents do PAEs hold and how do they organize their holdings?
- How do PAEs acquire patents; who are the prior patent owners; and how do they compensate prior patent owners?
- How do PAEs engage in assertion activity (i.e., how do they behave with respect to demands, litigation, and licensing)?
- What does assertion activity cost PAEs?
- What do PAEs earn through assertion activity?
- How does PAE patent assertion behavior compare to that of other entities that assert patents?