It's been a few years since we last wrote about former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold's plans to create an "invention factory" where scientists would come together to invent stuff that can be patented. Over those two years, it appears that the business model has changed a bit. While they still are working on having those scientists invent stuff which will be patented, they're apparently realizing that process is a bit slow. So, they're also buying up a ton of patents with a $350 million bankroll. Yes, basically, they're becoming a big money version of all those little patent hoarding shops: not doing any innovating themselves, but simply slow down innovation by setting up tollbooths on obvious ideas. Unfortunately, this suggests many people still haven't understood the important distinction between invention and innovation. Given the amount of money that those little patent hoarding shops have been able to get, is it really any surprise that bigger players are moving into the market?
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