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Powerful injunctions capable of halting product sales by court order for patent infringement haunt the product line of some tech companies. Injunctions were effectively eliminated by eBay vs. MercExchange in 2006. The smartphone wars between Apple, Samsung and Google became public spectacle during this decade, along with incredibly high prices to acquire some patents. The original award to Apple was $1.049. It was reduced to $539 million in the end.

The patent "troll" meme began to take root, denigrating businesses that wished to license rather than practice their patents, no matter how strong their rights or obvious the infringement. Dubious patent enforcement activity certainly existed. Some non-practicing entities (NPEs) abused the system by relying on the high cost of litigation to extract small but substantial settlements from unwilling defendants. Experts believe the strategy less widespread than indicated in the media and that many NPEs asserted reliable rights that were genuinely infringed and should have been licensed.


China's IP infringement and theft continues to grow. It is reported to reach as high as $600 billion annually "


Defensive patent aggregators" are established to buy, license or remove the threat from the market of patents that could potentially be asserted against their members. Their acquisition made reducing threats from patents less likely and costly, and easier for businesses to license each other. The aggregators include License on Transfer (LoT), Allied Security Trust (AST), Rational Patent Exchange (RPX) and Unified Patents. 

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