The word “extortion” is often used by patent infringers (and their apologists) to describe licensing activity carried out by patent owners. In reality, however, the patent owner often does nothing more than exercise the basic right of enforcing a patent through civil litigation. Some suggest that these patent owners rely on dubious arguments or enforce patents that are likely invalid. However, patents enjoy a presumption of validity as a matter of federal law, and characterizing a lawsuit as frivolous requires more than just disagreeing with the infringement theory (which often turns out to be the case). While some patent owners might bluff, actually resorting to litigation requires convincing attorneys to put their reputations on the line by affirming that an adequate investigation was conducted.