The Congressional Research Service has released a report titled “An Overview of the ‘Patent Trolls’ Debate,” that reviews the controversy over litigation filed by non-practicing entities “and their effect on innovation, examines the reasons for the rise in PAE [patent assertion entity] litigation, and explores the legislative options available to Congress if it decides that these are issues that should be addressed.”

Among other matters, the report notes that 92 percent of such litigation fails on the merits, but that most cases are resolved through settlements because defendants view patent litigation as “risky, disruptive, and expensive, regardless of the merits; and many PAEs set royalty demands strategically well below litigation costs to make the business decision to settle an obvious one.” Still, according to the report, non-practicing entities “generated $29 billion in revenues from defendants and licensees in 2011, a 400 percent increase over $7 billion in 2005.”