This number is the result of an investigation in all patent cases between 1 January and 30 June 2015. Specifically, the patent owners are classified as “NPE” or “Non-NPE”, where ‘NPE’ stands for ‘Non Practicing Entity, a company or individual that the majority of its revenue comes from patent related activities.
Although Unified Patents – the company that conducted the search – did not explicitly speak about ‘patent trolls’, the NPE business is quite often associated with it. Patent trolls are companies or individuals who submit patents or buy up to then sue third parties for infringement of those patents.
The exact proportion of NPE affairs at the US last six months was 89.9%., which is higher than the 85% in the previous year. The sector with the highest percentage of ‘trolls’ is the tech sector.
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