Guy Chambers writes “Ultramercial v. Hulu: The Guillotine for Patent Trolls” for Law360December 2014
During the French Revolution, Joseph-Ignace Guillotin helped develop a frighteningly effective device to quickly eliminate political opponents. The guillotine is a wooden structure where a razor sharp, angled blade is raised high above the neck of a political opponent. The blade is then dropped to instantaneously separate the head from the body. Ever since the term “patent troll” was used during the late 1990s by attorneys at Intel Corp. to describe the swarm of patent assertion entities who were demanding that Intel pay tribute for their patent rights, companies large and small have been looking for a legal guillotine to swiftly decapitate patent assertion entities and their patents.