License on Transfer Network (LOT)
Google, Asana, Canon, Dropbox, Newegg and SAP, recently announced the License on Transfer (LOT) Network, a cooperative patent-licensing agreement meant to cut down on patent troll litigation. LOT Network is a device to further inhibit the troll business models.
"The LOT Network is a sort of arms control for the patent world,” said Allen Lo, Deputy General Counsel for Patents at Google. “By working together, we can cut down on patent litigation, allowing us to focus instead on building great products.”
The LOT agreement is a new kind of royalty-free cross-license meant to address systemic problems. Member companies receive a license when the patents are transferred out of the LOT group. That means that companies retain their right to enforce a patent so long as they retain ownership of it. However, as soon as it is sold, a license to the other members becomes effective, protecting them from attacks by the troll to which the patent was sold.