Orphan Patent(s)

Refers to a patent or patent portfolio owned by a company in a technical field in which it is no longer a commercial participant, i.e., it has become a potential “No-Horse Plaintiff.” Orphan patents are a prime candidate for a Troll style licensing campaign. However, they are also a key asset for a business seeking to raise funds and substantial orphan patent portfolios are frequently sold for very high prices, especially to newer entrants into the product market seeking to acquire a defensive portfolio. The term is also sometimes used to describe a patent where the inventor or inventors have left the company that owns the patent application and, less accurately to describe an orphan drug registration. A similar term is orphan ware, was another less related term is an orphan work.

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