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More than trolls
patent trolls get a lot of media coverage, but they're just one of many problems which arise from software patents, and they're not the biggest problem either.
Patent problem examples:
- When your computer says it can't play a certain audio/video format
- When some new software isn't compatible with your old software or with the software of the people you interact with
- When you can only find one, or a small number of software packages to do a particular task
- When you or your company is prevented from developing useful software
...the cause was probably a large software company looking to monopolise a market rather than a Non-Producing Entity (a troll).
One source of the problem is that some people measure harm by counting court cases and out of court settlements. Harm with neither litigation nor threats is harder to count.
 Problems which would still exist without trolls
- All businesses are targets
- Blocking innovation and research
- Blocking useful freedoms
- Blocks competing software, reducing choice
- Breaks software distribution methods
- Controlling entire markets
- Costs are astronomically disproportionate for SMEs and individuals
- Costs of the patent system to governments
- Examples of use for sabotage
- Freedom of expression
- Harm to standards
- Harms to education
- Hindering competition, obstructing the free market
- Incompatible timespans
- Infringement is unavoidable
- Jobs and skills
- Publishing information is made dangerous
- Software patents harm SMEs
 Related pages on en.swpat.org
Two examples that will be called trolls but are actually operated by groups of proprietary software companies:
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