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Top 50: Colleen Chien, Santa Clara University Law School


Chien’s work on patent trolls has led the debate in the US and been behind many of the recent proposals for reform

COLLEEN CHIEN

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL

The recent focus of US politicians on curbing patent trolls has thrown the work of Colleen Chien into the spotlight. Chien, an assistant professor at Santa Clara University Law School, has been studying trolls – or patent assertion entities (PAEs) as she calls them – since 2008. Chien became interested in the strategic use of patents for development and trading while drafting patents for a law firm. She later noticed that PAEs were emerging as a new business model.

At the time, the politically correct label for these types of companies was non-practising entity. However, she felt this did not accurately define these types of companies, because some organisations –...


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