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This article was published on April 20, 2015


John Oliver explains why patent trolls are the worst with help from ‘America’s Top Model’

John Oliver explains why patent trolls are the worst with help from ‘America’s Top Model’
Mic Wright
Story by

Mic Wright

Reporter, TNW

Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy. Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy.

John Oliver’s got a knack for making complex issues understandable. Last time we checked in with him, he was quizzing Edward Snowden on which NSA programs can legally look at his dick pics.

This time, he’s on the case of patent trolls, with the help of a delicious ‘America’s Top Model’ analogy:

Here’s a key quote to illustrate why that clip’s worth 11 minutes of your time:

Most of these companies don’t produce anything, they just shake down anyone who does, so calling them trolls is misleading. At least trolls actually do something – they control bridge access for goats and ask people fun riddles…

Patent trolls are fat, feckless leeches on innovation, that’s why reform of the system in the US and internationally is so necessary. You should be rewarded for coming up with great ideas and applying them, not hoarding obvious concepts and exploiting them.

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver [HBO]

Feature image credit: HBO

Read next: John Oliver Interviews Snowden On Government Spying