Erik Iverson: WARF is no ‘patent troll,’ but must sharpen, articulate mission

By Pat Schneider, The Capital Times

Erik IversonThe Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation needs to explain to the public that it is not the patent troll it was made out to be in news reports about a whopping award in a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple last year, said WARF’s new managing director Erik Iverson.
“We’re not a troll, but we need to communicate to the public as to why we believe that’s the case,” Iverson told WisBusiness.com last week. The nonprofit technology transfer organization also needs to reflect on what its litigation philosophy and mission are, and articulate them to the public, he said.
Long known as an aggressive defender of the patents it holds and licenses for UW-Madison researchers, WARF was labeled a “patent troll” by Business Insider in 2012. Last year, the rap spread under headlines about the $234 million in damages a federal jury awarded WARF in a lawsuit against Apple. Apple has said it will appeal.
A patent troll uses the law to prevent infringement of patents it holds but does not put to use, something critics say curbs creativity and entrepreneurship. Read more …

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