Protection

Few players can countersue with their own portfolio but it won't help them against patent sharks. You cannot combat land mines with land mines.

Even companies with large patent portfolios are constantly attacked by patent trolls, legal companies with a patent enforcement business but no products in the market. Patent portfolios are a good defense against such attacks between equal competitors. You can then reach a crosslicensing agreement with them that excludes everyone else except both parties. These crosslicensing deals are also useful to do some financial engineering. Crosslicensing creates cartel-like structures that are indemnified from patent infringement from participant except unprotected against trolls. Often crosslicensing is furthered by the fact that each party has patents which can block the solutions of the other, so that without crosslicensing effectively no product could be released.

Please mind that crosslicensing deals are voluntary agreements.

When companies get attacked by trolls they often hire a patent attorney that tries to sell them some "own guns" which they intend to use solely for defensive purposes. Ironically patent defence means sueing other companies in the language of patent professionals.

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