The tech boom has been great for innovation, benefiting largecompanies like Apple and Google as well as Northern California'seconomy as a whole.

However, it has also been a "great time" for patent litigationand those who buy up patents in hopes of litigating and thenprofiting off of unknowing and sometimes small startups.

The solution for a few years was to simply negotiate and settlepatent suits, but after 2005, when patent suits almost doubled, thetask of negotiating with companies that bought patents andlitigated them – called Non Practicing Entities or NPEs – becamemore difficult.

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