We are excited to share that THOMSON REUTERS/Westlaw Today published our article “Beware of Software License Trolls: Your Company is a Target.” In this article, we demonstrate how the weaponizing of software license agreements is fast becoming an investment opportunity for private equity. Just as non-practicing entities (a.k.a. “patent trolls”) achieved notoriety for indiscriminately accumulating and enforcing patent portfolios, we argue that private equity firms are snatching up software license portfolios for equally menacing reasons. Though the topic demands more attention than a single article could possibly afford, we attempt to explain what we believe characterizes Software License Trolls, provide a sampling of vendors that meet our definition and provide tips on how to live in an increasingly treacherous world that is quickly being infiltrated by them.
We first identified traces of this emerging phenomenon in our July 2020 article “Covid-19, Software License Audits and Patent Litigation,” published by Patent Lawyer Magazine, and have been keeping close watch on this curiosity. We consider it part of our mission to keep our clients and colleagues abreast of important trends in our industry, and we hope that our latest article will help draw attention to the subtleties and complexities surrounding this issue.
For further information and commentary, we presented an LES webinar on this topic with our partners at LicenseFortress in July of 2021. Our webinar can still be accessed here for free.
Published on 2/16/2022