Insights into the role of non-practicing entities in patent licensing and litigation.
In "extraordinary" cases the defendant's legal fees can be shifted to the plaintiff under 35 U.S.C. § 285. This means that a small patent holder can be liable to pay the legal fees of a large corporate defendant if the court finds the case to be sufficiently "extraordinary" to justify an exception to the American Rule which provides that each party is responsible for paying its own attorney's fees.
Article explains how the "explosion" in patent litigation is due to changes in the the anti-joinder rules that forced patent holders to file separate suits for each defendant, rather than file one suit against multiple parties.