Brown, who has litigated patent cases in China, said this is just an American problem. "We hear about the Chinese who do not respect patents; that was not my experience at all."
All of the panelists, including Julie Samuels, a patent lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said patents are often too complicated and too overbroad to be understood.
Samuels said what happens is that startups, companies, and individuals who receive demand letters give in and prefer to pay rather than take the risk to engage in a legal battle. "We think they are just paying the trolls to go away because who wants to deal with litigation?"
This article originally appeared as a post on The BLT: The Blog of LegalTimes.
See also: "Revamped SHIELD Act Again Seeks to Thwart 'Patent Trolls,' " CorpCounsel, Februrary 2013.