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[News] Microsoft's Patent Troll Gives Birth to Another Troll: RPX

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Is RPX’s “Defensive Patent Aggregation” Simply Patent Extortion By Another

,----[ Quote ]
| RPX’s model borrows a little from Intellectual Ventures (where CEO John 
| Amster hails from), but with a twist. Amster used to be in charge of patent 
| acquisitions at Intellectual Ventures, which buys up billions of dollars 
| worth of patents and then gets companies to license the entire portfolio. If 
| companies decide not to play ball, the threat of massive patenet litigation 
| hangs in the air.      


Firm to buy up patents

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| According to the Wall Street Journal Cisco Systems and IBM have already 
| signed up. 
| RPX is funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Charles Rivers 
| Ventures. Its two chief executives, John Amster and Geoffrey Barker, 
| previously served as vice presidents of Intellectual Ventures, another 
| company in the business of purchasing patents.   


New Patent Buying Firm Swears It'll Never Litigate Over Its Patents

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| It involves getting a bunch of tech companies to pay up, so that this new 
| company, RPX Corp., can buy up a bunch of patents "for defensive purposes 
| only." The company insists it won't sue anyone with these patents. But, of 
| course, the whole thing makes you wonder. For the companies that buy into 
| RPX's deal (or IV's for that matter), they end up spending a bunch of money 
| for a rather weak form of insurance that protects them in the very rare case 
| where they might be able to use a patent in either firm's portfolio to maybe, 
| possibly protect itself against an infringement lawsuit.       


Cisco, IBM join start-up to protect against patent trolls

,----[ Quote ]
| According to a statement about patent reform on its Web site, Cisco 
| states: "The patent litigation system today is unbalanced and patent 
| speculators are exploiting the system's unfairness to coerce high settlements 
| from productive companies.   


RPX Spooks Trolls Lurking Under Patent Bridge

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| NPEs typically troll the patent office, news reports, and company product 
| lines in hopes of finding infringements to patents in its library. Once a 
| product is targeted, the NPE sends a letter to the product's maker, 
| threatening to sue the supposedly infringing company unless it pays a license 
| fee or settles out of court.    


Trolls versus trolls.


Looking to fend off patent trolls, IBM, Cisco support startup RPX

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| Now, two former executives of Myhrvold's Bellevue patent licensing firm are
| striking out on their own with support from IBM and Cisco to serve as a
| counterweight to patent holding firms like Intellectual Ventures. Today, RPX
| Corp. is launching what it dubs "defensive patent aggregation" -- a
| membership club of sorts where large and small technology companies pool
| capital in order to order to protect themselves from patent litigation.


Bill Gates, top Microsoft executives do some of their inventing on the side

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| Bill Gates and several of Microsoft’s top technologists are credited as
| inventors in eight newly disclosed U.S. patent applications. That isn’t a
| surprise. But here’s where it starts to get unusual: The applications weren’t
| made on Microsoft’s behalf.|
| [...]
| Here's what we know: An entity called Searete LLC applied for the patents.
| Searete is part of Intellectual Ventures LLC, the Bellevue-based invention
| house run by Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft’s former chief technology officer.
| Myhrvold’s company has stirred controversy with its large patent hoard.


Top Microsoft Execs Moonlighting For a Patent Bully

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| "TechFlash reports that Microsoft bigwigs like Craig Mundie and Bill Gates
| (when he still worked there) have been secretly moonlighting at Intellectual
| Ventures (IV), the 'patent extortion fund' run by Bill's pal Nathan Myhrvold.
| A Microsoft spokesman confirmed that its technologists have been sitting in
| on IV-sponsored 'innovation sessions,' where their pearls of wisdom were
| captured and turned into patent applications for Searete, an IV shadow
| corporate entity. And if all goes well, Searete will soon enjoy exclusive
| rights to the fruit of the brainstorming, which includes processes ranging
| from determining and rewarding 'influencers' to treating malaria, HIV, TB,
| hepatitis, smallpox, and cancer."


Microsoft fueling Intellectual Ventures, OpenOffice, and other conspiracy

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| Of more concern was the TechFlash's news that Bill Gates, Craig Mundie, and
| other top current and past Microsoft officials make a regular pilgrimage to
| the patent troll, Intellectual Ventures, to feed it ideas which it turns into
| patents. Regardless of what one thinks about patents, shouldn't Microsoft be
| feeding itself with patents, not another company? In other words, shouldn't
| it be the patent troll?

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