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The literature of the legal and business professions, both print and online, is replete with articles about who’s to blame for the scourge of patent trolls. You’re familiar with the plot: From a lofty perch on high, the writer heaps scorn upon a diverse cast of stooges, villains and accomplices, from the feckless examiners of the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), who grant patents useful only as licenses to extort, to the allegedly plaintiff-friendly judges, who hold the trolls’ coats while they rummage through the pockets of innocent passersby, to the dastardly trolls themselves. While these rascals may be the usual suspects, I hope to persuade you that someone else shares the blame too. Unfortunately, that someone is us.

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