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Mid-Michigan entrepreneur warns of "patent trolls"

Tom Stewart photo
Courtesy Tom Stewart / NEO Center

Lansing entrepreneur Tom Stewart says "patent trolls" undermine legitimate business, burdening them with costly legal fees.

Michigan is home to a diverse array of industries.  Long gone are the days when auto manufacturing was the sole driver of our state’s economy.  Our 21st century economy constantly demands new advances in technology and innovation.

That advancement often means creating new products.  Inventors often patent their work to protect their rights.  But the patent system can be abused.  Sometimes, shell companies buy the rights to broadly defined patents to sue legitimate inventors for patent infringement.  These actors are loosely known as “patent trolls.”  

Tom Stewart is the author of a recent newspaper article on the issue.  He’s the  managing partner with Common Wealth Enterprises, and also heads The Center for New Enterprise Opportunity in Lansing.

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