There is little question that patent trolls harm the U.S. economy. Fortunately, two recent Supreme Court rulings have made it more difficult and less lucrative for trolls to sue emerging entrepreneurs.
Sadly, these professional litigants, who invent nothing and make their living threatening entrepreneurs with specious lawsuits, may be making a comeback. Their powerful lobbying efforts have influenced recent congressional activity, including the STRONG Patents Act.
Austin Meyer, Founder of X-Plane
Don’t Feed The Trolls
For anyone unsure of the personal pain and financial hardship that patent trolls exact on entrepreneurs, I highly recommend The Patent Scam movie.
Austin Meyer, an entrepreneur turned filmmaker, highlights the negative impact of questionable intellectual property lawsuits by interviewing entrepreneurs whose personal lives, and businesses, have been heavily impacted by troll attacks.
I reached out to Mr. Meyer to better understand what motivated him to underwrite and create The Patent Scam. Despite being in the midst of wrapping up a new documentary, he graciously granted me the following interview, which has been lightly edited for brevity and readability.
John Greathouse: Austin, thanks for taking the time to chat. Before we talk about your crusade to defeat patent trolls, let’s start with your startup story. What led you to create the highly successful flight simulator program, X-plane?
Austin Meyer: I was just not happy with the lack of flexibility of Microsoft Flight Sim. I was flying a Piper Archer at the time in Southern California, and Microsoft Flight Sim just did not have that as an option, or even the ability to