More than 100,000 companies were threatened in 2012 alone with infringement suits by businesses whose sole mission is to extract royalty revenue, according to a White House report. Those entities, called pejoratively "patent trolls" by critics, filed 19 percent of all patent lawsuits from 2007 to 2011, according to the Government Accountability Office. In December, the U.S. overwhelmingly passed the "Innovation Act" against patent trolls. Today in Washington, the justices debated how best to deter meritless suits as they weighed in on the rules that govern fee awards in patent litigation. Apple and Google are among the companies urging the court to lower the bar for fee awards.