“Apple, Google, and other tech titans have manipulated and gamed the system so that it costs tens of millions of dollars and takes a decade or more to enforce a patent in court. This is no problem for the trillion-dollar tech titans, but inventors have virtually no chance.”
Apple made headlines with its recent decision to close its stores in Frisco and my home town of Plano, Texas. The rumor is that Apple was afraid of the dreaded “patent troll.” However, Apple is not afraid of patent trolls. They are afraid of inventors.
Whenever you hear the term patent troll, think of inventors. Inventors like my friend Bob Short, who solved an important technical problem in 1998 with his invention—a protocol that encrypts real-time audio and video transmissions. Apple wanted his technology for their FaceTime app, so they took it. Bob’s company, VirnetX, has spent six years trying to stop them and make them pay. Meanwhile Apple, Google, and other tech titans have spread propaganda and paid lawyers, academics, lobbyists, and politicians to destroy the U.S. patent system.
They called us trolls. They said patents stifle innovation. They said the Eastern District of Texas Court was biased and unfair. They persuaded the Supreme Court in 2006 that inventors must no longer be allowed to determine who gets to use our inventions or how they are used. They pushed for creation of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, an administrative tribunal tasked with revoking our patents. They convinced the Supreme Court in 2017 to prohibit inventors like me from filing suit in my home state of Texas.