According to a September 21, 2004 article in the National Law Journal, theses trolls inadvertently fell into the public domain in the United States 40 years ago through a loophole in laws governing international copyright protection. But now, using the URAA amendments to the U.S. Copyright Act, the trolls have regained their copyright protection and the Troll Co. started going after companies that had taken advantage of their public-domain status.
"The people who are out there trying to take advantage of former public domain status are not people who are adding greatly to the world of creative works," says Craig Mende, the attorney who is handling the troll copyright enforcement lawsuits. "They're more likely trying to make a quick buck than adding something new and creative to the world ... especially in cases where you're reproducing collectibles and knickknacks."