Last Month, I mentioned a
survey on patent demands that law professor Colleen Chien of Santa Clara University is asking folks to fill out, asking for experiences with patent
trolls um... nonpracticing entities. The specific interest is the impact on small businesses and entrepreneurs. How big is this problem? How many are being affected and how?
The results will be used for academic purposes, including to form the basis of policy recommendations. If you or your company got a letter demanding you license a patent or received a threat of a lawsuit, how was it handled? Did it affect the company's plans, for example, as to where money would be spent? Even if it hasn't happened to you yet, is it something you worry about, or feel you must consider in your plans?
A lot of you did participate, and now the survey folks are asking if there are any others here who did not fill out the form who could. Don't do it twice, of course, but surveys like this matter most when they have large participation, so this is last call to put a little dent in the universe, maybe, if enough people participate.
So if you have had experience with such problems, please consider answering their few questions here. The instructions say, "However, you should take the survey even if you've never received a demand." I guess that means if you feel you have to factor in the possibility of dealing with this issue, you should still tell them about it. It's strictly anonymous, so don't give your name or the name of your company. Scroll down the page, as the survey itself begins with the word "Background" but on that same page, below the message from Professor Chien.
And if you know someone else who has had to deal with this kind of issue or who would be interested in participating, let them know about the survey too. Your company doesn't have to be a tech company. A well-done survey collecting real-world experiences would be helpful. Please do spread the word in all the ways you know about, including ones that the Internet makes possible, if you don't personally have an experience to share. If you have any questions, you can contact Professor Chien [firstname.lastname@example.org].