Patent Trolls Prey on Small Businesses

In 2012 patent trolls sued more non-tech companies than tech companies, costing the U.S. economy $80 billion in litigation costs. Consumers today are increasingly seeking real estate information at their fingertips, while getting services that are fast and comprehensive, but businesses that adopt emerging technologies, including REALTORS® other small businesses owners, are facing more patent-infringement claims and the litigation that goes along with them. For REALTORS®, this includes common technologies like scanner-copiers and website alert technologies. Since litigation can be disruptive and costly, many businesses are making choices to not offer certain features or products, or foregoing activities like hiring people, conducting research or expanding their business. 

REALTORS® are urging Congress to pass comprehensive patent reform that protects innovators and main street businesses from broad claims of patent infringement. They are calling for things like improving patent system transparency and patent quality, as well as disincentives for trolling behavior.

Story Springboard

Identify REALTOR® small business owners who have had patent trolls affect their business. Talk to them about the impact on their business and clients and why patent litigation reform is important to the real estate industry and consumers.