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[News] The Nathan Myhrvold Troll a Greater Parasite Than the Dying Microsoft

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The real patent threat: Not Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Hence, while the open-source world is up in arms about Microsoft's TomTom 
| patent suit, it should be far more worried about news that Intellectual 
| Ventures has grabbed another 500 patents through a deal with Telcordia 
| Technologies, as TechFlash reports. Intellectual Ventures, arguably the 
| world's largest patent troll, is set up to do nothing more than license its 
| intellectual property, which it has done to the tune of hundreds of millions 
| of dollars.      


Intellectual Ventures adds to patent pile with new deal

,----[ Quote ]
| Intellectual Ventures is adding to its huge pile of patents. The 
| Bellevue-based firm, founded by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, is 
| today announcing a partnership with broadband company Telcordia Technologies, 
| giving it access to more than 500 Telcordia patents. Intellectual Ventures 
| has also pledged to fund Telcordia research and development.    



Checking in on Nathan Myhrvold

,----[ Quote ]
| I'd suggest the business be called Intellectual Vultures' ... because that is
| exactly what Nathan is bringing to the table - nothing. This business model
| stifles and prevents creative idea, and is yet another made up securities
| model that preys on other people's legitimate hard work.
| When he was at Microsoft, he had zero practical ideas and I see he's still
| doing the same, only this time, he's screwing the whole public. This business
| is living on the backs of other people because they don't know how to spell
| the word ‘innovation'. How about coming up with an original and useful idea
| and earn it the old fashion way?
| Nathan should be ashamed of this practice and he should be investigated by
| the FTC for predatory business practices.


Nathan Myhrvold’s Patent Extortion Fund Is Reaping Hundreds Of Millions of

,----[ Quote ]
| Don’t blame Nathan Myhrvold for taking advantage of the culture of rampant
| patent litigation in this country. He is only doing what large companies with
| vast patent portfolios such as IBM and Microsoft do on a daily basis: use the
| threat of patent infringement litigation to strike lucrative patent licensing
| deals. Except Myhrvold, who used to be Bill Gates’ right-hand man at
| Microsoft during the 1990s, does it through his patent-gobbling fund,
| Intellectual Ventures.


Invention Capitalism & the Law: Checking in on Nathan Myhrvold

,----[ Quote ]
| Myhrvold told the WSJ that he acknowledges facing resistance from companies
| he targets for licenses. But his patent inventory gives him leverage to
| extract settlements without litigation. “I say, ‘I can’t afford to sue you on
| all of these, and you can’t afford to defend on all these,’” he said.


Nathan Myhrvold: Alpha patent troll?

,----[ Quote ]
| Former Microsoft exec Nathan Myhrvold has been collecting patents, extracting
| fees from technology companies via his company Intellectual Ventures. Is
| Myhrvold a patent troll with tech cred?
| The Wall Street Journal has a long account of Myhrvold’s patent collecting
| efforts and how he is winning multimillion dollar payments from the likes of
| Verizon and Cisco. These payments are top secret material, but Myhrvold’s
| firm is the one reaping the rewards. Intellectual Ventures has more than
| 20,000 patents. In many respects, Myhrvold is just a patent trader. A few
| lawsuits could define him as a troll quickly though.


Tech Guru Riles the Industry

,----[ Quote ]
| Over the past few years, the former Microsoft Corp. executive has quietly
| amassed a trove of 20,000-plus patents and patent applications related to
| everything from lasers to computer chips. He now ranks among the world's
| largest patent-holders -- and is using that clout to press tech giants to
| sign some of the costliest patent-licensing deals ever negotiated.


Patent startup gains high profile backing

,----[ Quote ]
| John Amster, one of two former Intellectual Ventures executives that formed
| RPX, said he will not detail the company's business model or customers until
| October. However he did say RPX will acquire patents in a broad range of
| technology and e-commerce areas, especially when the patents are being
| asserted or involved in litigation.


Transcript: Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures

,----[ Quote ]
| Nathan Myhrvold: The genesis of this idea was when I was at Microsoft. We had
| a problem with patent liability. All these people were coming to sue us or
| demand payment. And Bill (Gates) asked me to think about if there was a
| solution. This is what I came up with.
| WSJ: So you think that you're actually protecting companies from more
| settlements or bigger payments down the road?


We doctor your patents, so be patent!

,----[ Quote ]
| Unlike most other pure licensing companies, Intellectual Ventures hasn’t
| filed patent-infringement lawsuits to help force settlements. But the group
| lobbying on behalf of tech companies in Washington, the Coalition for Patent
| Fairness — which includes several companies that have been approached for
| licensing deals by Intellectual Ventures — says it is only a matter of
| time. “Since these thousands of patents only give [Intellectual Ventures] the
| right to stop others from making products, through lawsuits, it is obvious
| what they intend to do,” the group said in a statement.
| [...]
| As with short sellers, large companies don't like plays that can shake them
| up and expose their inadequacies, and will spend large amounts to PR /
| lobby / legislate them away - and as any small player who has tried to
| enforce patent abuse by large companies knows, it's virtually impossible to
| win and ruinously expensive to fight. So in that respect, aggregation is a
| good thing. Its hard to tell from this article if its just part of the PR war
| or whether there has been a real step up in the shakedown.


Reforming the Patent System

,----[ Quote ]
| Intellectual Ventures and its ilk are arguably the single biggest risk to
| America's continued leadership in technology and innovation. As dsquared
| elegantly put it in a comment here in May, the company might do a bit of R,
| but it doesn't do any D. Instead, it acts as a brake on any company wanting
| to do substantive R&D of its own, since there's a good chance Intellectual
| Ventures will have got there first, patented the idea, and then just decided
| to sit on it until somebody dares to violate it.


Microsoft and Pioneer Enter Into Patent Cross-Licensing Agreement to Foster
Mutual Innovation in Consumer Technology

,----[ Quote ]
| Although the contents of the agreement, including the specific financial
| terms, are confidential, the parties indicated that Microsoft is being
| compensated by Pioneer.


Acacia tops troll litigaition league

,----[ Quote ]
| Acacia Technologies is the most litigious non-practising entity/troll (delete
| according to preference) in the United States. According to research done by
| PatentFreedom, which is featured in an article to be published in the next
| issue of IAM, Acacia has been involved in a total of 308 cases in the US
| courts, 239 of which have been filed since 2003. In second place is Rates
| Technology Inc, which has been involved in 130 cases – although just 38 have
| been over the last six years.


Ideas Are Everywhere... So Why Do We Limit Them?

,----[ Quote ]
| Gladwell uses this to talk up what Myhrvold is doing, suggesting that
| Intellectual Ventures is really about continuing that process, getting those
| ideas out there -- but he misses the much bigger point: if these ideas are
| the natural progression, almost guaranteed to be discovered by someone sooner
| or later, why do we give a monopoly on these ideas to a single discoverer?
| Myhrvold's whole business model is about monopolizing all of these ideas and
| charging others (who may have discovered them totally independently) to
| actually do something with them. Yet, if Gladwell's premise is correct (and
| there's plenty of evidence included in the article), then Myhrvold's efforts
| shouldn't be seen as a big deal. After all, if it wasn't Myhrvold and his
| friends doing it, others would very likely come up with the same thing sooner
| or later.
| This is especially highlighted in one anecdote in the article, of Myhrvold
| holding a dinner with a bunch of smart people... and an attorney. The group
| spent dinner talking about a bunch of different random ideas, with no real
| goal or purpose -- just "chewing the rag" as one participant put it. But the
| next day the attorney approached them with a typewritten description of 36
| different inventions that were potentially patentable out of the dinner. When
| a random "chewing the rag" conversation turns up 36 monopolies, something is
| wrong. Those aren't inventions that deserve a monopoly.



Who is the world's biggest patent troll?

,----[ Quote ]
| In two consecutive days, The Wall Street Journal presented two different
| answers. The first is not surprising: Intellectual Ventures, the brainchild
| of ex-Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold. It's now out "to raise as much as
| $1 billion to help develop and patent inventions, many of them from
| universities in Asia."  


Playing Microsoft Patent Poker

,----[ Quote ]
| This time though, while Ballmer slinks away to try to con … convince people
| that Microsoft Unified Communications somehow offers people more than what
| Cisco's VOIP (voice over IP) been offering customers for years, a patent
| attack finally launches at Linux. Specifically, IP Innovation, a subsidiary
| of Acacia Technologies Group, has filed a patent infringement claim against
| Linux distributors Novell and Red Hat.    
| So was it just timing, or was it something more? Let's take a look at the
| players.  


Top Ten Patent Trolls of 2007

,----[ Quote ]
| 3. Acacia. I didn't start tracking Acacia carefully until the summer. But
| still, on my blog I have reported on over two dozen lawsuits brought by
| Acacia this year, against more than 235 defendants. That's in addition to the
| over 200 lawsuits Acacia filed in previous years against hundreds and
| hundreds of defendants. And that's not including the two lawsuits (at least)
| Acacia has filed in December against 20 more defendants (yes, Acacia, I'm
| watching you). Acacia's business model, as a publicly traded company, is to
| accumulate patents and sue as many companies as possible in order to extract
| licenses. They have a market cap of over 275 million - that pays for a lot of
| lawsuits. Unlike other trolls, Acacia tends to not focus on one court in
| particular, although they have sampled the Eastern District of Texas more
| this year than in the past.

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