John Oliver Examines America’s Messy Patent System on ‘Last Week Tonight’

John Oliver examined America’s messy patent system during the latest episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. As Oliver notes, a number of patent lawsuits aren’t actually filed by companies that make things, but are instead filed by so-called “patent trolls” that would much rather settle out of court in what is effectively extortion.

For inventors, patents are an essential protection against theft. But when patent trolls abuse the system by stockpiling patents and threatening lawsuits, businesses are forced to shell out tons of money.