August 9, 2011

Patent trolls and property-rights goblins: What Harry Potter can teach us about patents and property rights

But in all the discussion of "patent trolls", I haven't come across the accusation of stolen patents (or murder). The inventor and the “troll” mutually entered an agreement to transfer ownership. Transfer of property rights happens all the time. Someone may construct a shop, and then sell it to someone else, who then charges rent to a tennant. Such transfers of exclusive access to property are common. No one calls the new owner a “property troll” because they neither built nor occupy the shop. The new owner is simply an intermediary who is good at managing property, just as the original builder is good at financing and managing construction, and just as the tenants are good at running a shop. I'd guess that in Australia and America, this accounts for the vast majority of commercial property. 

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