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Putting the patent in the public domain or invalidating it would be a good penalty for frivolous patent suits.



Or the maintenance cost could be significantly increased.

I would love something like this: any failed patent suit doubles the maintenance cost for all patents owned by the entity which owns that patent. The effect would be transferable (i.e. if they sold the patent to some other company, that company's costs would double) and it would stack (i.e. failing with the same patent twice, or owning 2 such patents would quadruple your maintenance costs.) The effect would last for some fixed period of time, so if the patent were truly valuable, a company could opt to keep it anyway.

Obviously, that would make any patent involved in a failed lawsuit highly undesirable, so no one would want to buy it. It would also mean that shell companies wouldn't be able to send the patent back to a company dedicated to simply amassing patents.


This would discourage legitimate patent suits, while not particularly hurting one-patent shell companies.


Might as well just take them off them, it's a lot less messy and it doesn't require anyone to choose not to be a douche even if it's the less attractive option.




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