Skip to main content

Google, SAP and Dropbox kickstart anti-patent troll organisation

LOT network aims to solve the patent trolling issue

Pure Storage is the latest company to join a Google-backed organisation called LOT (License on Transfer) Network which aims to protect its members from so-called Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) - more commonly known as "patent trolls".

Out of the 300,000 patent assets, 50,000 are issued US patents that belong to members of that network. Google joined earlier this year and was a founding member of the organisation, one which also includes Canon, Asana, Dropbox, Newegg and SAP.

Members joining the network pledge to offer a royalty-free license to any patents that they would sold to a third party outside the LOT network to avoid litigation by patent trolls.

The law of the land is likely to overrule any gentleman's agreement though (e.g. if the US Patent Office issues a patent to a patent troll) and it won't prevent patent wars eve among its members.

According to LOT, the tech industry is being made to pay a heavy price to patent troll. Its own research shows that more than 10,000 companies have been sued at least once by PAEs with direct expenses of more than $29 billion per year (about £17 billion, AU$ 31 billion).