Unwired Planet, a patent-holding company that holds more than 2,000 patents, is about to undergo a series of court trials in the United Kingdom, Bloomberg reports.
The London trials against Huawei, Samsung, and Google, set to begin on Monday, could represent turning points for so-called “patent trolls” that have no business other than licensing or litigating patents. It’s not uncommon for such companies to be based abroad, but the business model is generally reliant on US courts, where high litigation costs and little prospect of recovering attorneys fees mean that the pressure to settle patent cases is enormous. There’s also an impression that the use of juries sometimes leads to larger damage awards.
In the UK, patent disputes are lengthy, overseen by specialized judges, and losers in lawsuits are often made to pay the winner’s legal fees. That creates a high-cost, high-risk scenario that’s unappealing to trolls.