This article attempts to identify the roots of patent trolls. It discusses a Harvard study suggesting that the country’s problems with low-quality patents and rampant patent litigation is driven by inadequate scrutiny of patents by patent examiners. The study shows that patents issued by patent examiners who demand the fewest changes from applicants account for a disappropriately high share of patents used by patent trolls.
The article proposes better educated and equipped patent examiners to solve the problem. However, some legal scholars (as the article points out) question whether this would be worth the additional capital expenditures, since most patents eventually remain unused. These scholars therefore favor to wait until an entity with an actual interest in using the invention challenges the patent in court.