Patents may have been created to help encourage innovation, but instead they regularly hinder it. The US Patent Office, overwhelmed and underfunded, issues questionable patents every day. "Patent trolls" buy too many of these patents and then misuse the patent system to shake down companies big and small. Others still use patents to limit competition and impede access to new knowledge, tools, or other innovations.
It’s no wonder that small businesses and individual inventors find it almost impossible to make the patent system work in their favor, often leaving them without any defense against competitors with giant patent arsenals and litigation budgets.