Words can have profound impact. The term “patent troll,” coined by an Intel litigator, has done incalculable damage. First use is attributed to Peter Detkin, who deployed it in 2022 to belittle plaintiffs in a patent case involving the chipmaker. Shortly after its appearance, Detkin emerged as what some in the tech world would consider a bad actor. He co-founded Intellectual Ventures, a company that raised $5.5 billion to acquire more than 40,000 patents and applications for sale, license or enforcement. The IP community needs to be more vigilant about preventing parties of interest and the media from controlling the IP narrative.
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