From domain name buying and harvesting – to patent trolling – the internet is spawning
ALL sort of different ways to reinvent your self- and find a new career path- so to speak.
Just look at Intellectual Ventures, the patent holding company founded by ex-Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold,
that is widely accused of being a patent troll;
Defined, a company that exists mainly to extract patent-licensing fees from other companies.
Intellectual Ventures claims to invest in invention — it has its own lab and a roster of super-smart inventors.
Intellectual Ventures also says it’s sticking up for small inventors who not have the resources to defend their claims.
However, NPR’s “This American Life” did a story that makes a mockery of those claims. By the way- I DO LOVE NPR
Here’s some of what the story revealed:
- Of the more than 30,000 patents Intellectual Ventures holds, about 1,000 of them were developed in house. The rest were bought.
- None of the inventions from the company’s lab has been turned into a commercial product.
- When NPR asked for an example of a little inventor who Intellectual Ventures helped, the company pointed them to Chris Crawford. It turns out that Intellectual Ventures sold Crawford’s patent to a non-practicing entity called Oasis Research, which used it to sue a bunch of companies, including AT&T, GoDaddy, and Rackspace. When NPR went to the address of Oasis in Marshall, Texas, it found an empty office — alongside dozens of others who exist only to sue for patent infringement in the notoriously litigant-friendly district of East Texas.
- Although Oasis is nominally a separate company, Intellectual Ventures is still listed on the court filing. That’s because it “probably” has a “back-end arrangement” to get a percentage of any licensing fees Oasis is able to extract. (This is according to Intellectual Ventures’ own cofounder Peter Detkin — who ironically coined the term “patent troll” back in the 1990s when he was working forIntel.)
- Oasis has the same address as Lodsys – the company that is using a patent it bought from Intellectual Ventures to sue iOS developers.
So Intellectual Ventures is a patent holding and licensing company.
There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s simply taking advantage of the long-established legal fact that patents are property with monetary value, and can be traded like any other property.
You can argue that some of those patents should never have been granted in the first place, but that’s not the fault of Intellectual Ventures — it’s simply taking advantage of how the system works.
What NPR does not get into, however, is the fact that Intellectual Ventures is backed by many of the biggest and most powerful companies in technology, including Amazon, Apple, Cisco, eBay, Google, Nokia, Sony, Yahoo, and — of course – Microsoft.
Well well- if you are a www.99er.net – just a thought…
There are NO JOBS out there- gotta keep hustling….