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LONDON, February 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video game industry has today published a new report, Trolls, Innovation and Thermonuclear War (TIGA, 2014), on the patent troll menace.
TIGA's report into patent trolls found that:
TIGA recommended that:
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:
"Patent trolls are not common in the UK but when they do strike they can inflict uncertainty, waste time and impose significant costs on high technology businesses, including games developers. Typically, the troll's approach is to blanket mailshot an industry likely to operate in the field of the patented product or invention. The troll will with confidence allege infringement on the part of the recipient, generally without detail. The troll may also demand that the recipient must enter into a license agreement that of course attracts a considerable fee. The recipient has to determine whether to expend valuable time and resources to determine whether there is any truth to the allegation, or risk ignoring the troll's demands and face legal action."
Vincent Scheurer, CEO, Sarassin LLP, a London-based consultancy for video games companies and co-author of the TIGA report, said:
"Lawsuits for accidental patent infringement currently represent a clear and present danger to any company whose software products are distributed in the US. The UK Government should work with it's US partners to encourage the same 'loser pays' approach to litigation costs that we have in the EU. This could go a long way to mitigating the threats UK businesses currently face. "
Mark Fardell, Head of Legal, Jagex Games Studio and co-author of the report, said:
"Jagex has first-hand experience of the time, effort and cost involved, when a business is sued for patent infringement by a US entity. Fortunately, Jagex is a successful business with the financial resources and expertise to defend itself. If a smaller UK business had been subject to this sort of litigation, it might well have either folded or at the very least been seriously affected."
Tom Lingard, Partner, Stevens & Bolton LLP, added:
"IP rights can have tremendous value, both as a shield and a sword, so it's very important for business to think about what IP they are creating and manage it properly, as only then can they realise its true worth."
Notes to editors:
As used in this release and TIGA's report, Patent troll is a pejorative term used for a person or company that enforces its patent rights against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered unduly aggressive or opportunistic, often because they have no discernible intention to manufacture or market the invention themselves.
TIGA is the trade association representing the video game industry. We help developers and digital publishers build successful studios, network with the right people, save money and access professional business advice.
We also have outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. Since 2010, TIGA has won 16 business awards.
TIGA focuses on three sets of activities:
This enhances the competitiveness of our members by providing benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.
It also means our members' voices are heard in the corridors of power and positively represented in national, broadcast and UK video game trade media.
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