Study: Media use of the term “patent troll” negatively predisposes readers, courts

“Patent troll,” the term employed by leading newspapers, magazines and online publications to describe how some patents are owned and used, provides a prejudicial impression of patent licensing that unfairly influences attitudes towards disputes.

This is among the findings of the research conducted by Illinois Institute of Technology – Chicago-Kent College of Law Professor, Edward Lee. Writing in the Stanford Technology Law Review, Professor Lee says that while “some courts have even barred the use of the term [patent troll] altogether during patent trials on the ground that the term is unfairly prejudicial. But, among the mainstream media, the term is pervasive.”

Patent Trolls: Moral Panics, Motions in Limine, and Patent Reform, published on April 22, is the first empirical study of how the term patent trolls is treated in the media.