How To Hire A Ninja, Patent Edition

You know there’s something wrong with the US patent system when you have to go all ninja on it.  But that’s exactly what the folks over at Article One Partners are doing with their latest offering called Operation Ninja STAR.

I’ve written about these guys lots of times before because I believe so strongly in their business model.  They are attacking the patent troll problem at the root, which is the very best way to get rid of the weeds that are choking out good businesses.  Increasingly, as has been written about pretty much all over the internet and you can find that out by searching for “start ups + patent trolls” (see how I hook you up like that, all giving you the search terms and everything?), the trolls are going after the little guy.

Used to, patent trolls would get all up in the business of the big guys, the Deep Pockets.  Those are the folks who just want to swat the little gnats away and have the money to do it so they pay the ridiculous extortion licensing fees and go on about their merry way.  But when the big kids on the block got sick of it and started saying “Um, no”, the trolls decided they’d hit up Mom and Pop and gamer/app dudes and see how that played out.  Less licensing fees up front because it’s not like you can get blood out of turnip or anything, but they make it up on volume because there’s lots of little guys.  Not a bad business strategy and one that’s been working.

It’s this little guy who finds him or herself in the crosshairs with no idea how they got there or how to get out.  So who ya gonna call?  Trollbusters.  Or a Ninja, as it were.


Imma get you, TROLLS.

The program is pretty straightforward in that the Advisory Board (check out who’s on the listholla!!) works together with the folks at Article One to select a patent that is particularly interesting to the trolls, or has already been used as a bat to beat the little guys with.  An Indiegogo campaign is set up and when the goal is reached, SHAZAAM!!  A repository of patent info goodness is created and anyone who is threatened using that patent can gain access to the whole pot ‘o honey.  Sweet.

I realize that our esteemed {ahem} leaders are working on the problem with all their laws and proposed laws and passing of things like the Innovation Act.  That can be a good thing I suppose, and it shows that those of us who bang the drum are being heard.  But if you really want to stop the problem, you’ve gotta take to the streets…meet the bad guys at the patent where it all starts and give them the beat-down.

You know, like a Ninja.



{Adorable Ninja image found here.}