In short, policies are offered which enable manufacturing and trading business to offset part or all of the risk of being sued for patent infringement by a patent proprietor which -- not manufacturing or selling anything itself -- typically has no commercial interest to protect though securing an injunction and is only interested in receiving damages from defendants that have refused to accept the terms of a royalty-bearing patent licence.
|Insurers' favourite game?|
What is significant is that, so far as can be seen, there are no insurance policies that have been overtly tailored for and marketed to patent assertion entities. These entities too face litigation costs and risks too, and their business models depend upon the continued validity of the patents they assert.
Why is it that insurance companies are not devising and selling troll-friendly insurance policies so that patent assertion entities can guard against unsuccessful outcomes to their litigation? It surely cannot be that they do not face an insurable risk. Given that, at least to the interested but non-involved layman, they appear to be fairly profitable -- maybe more so than businesses at large -- it can't be that insurance companies don't think they can afford to pay their premiums. If however it is because the risk they face is so low that they could never be persuaded to part with any of their money in order to obtain the security that insurance provides, the asymmetry of risk between hunter and hunted is something at which we should take a pretty close and critical look.