Tech Press Falling For Intellectual Venture's New Spin

from the just-reprint-the-press-release dept

It appears that Intellectual Ventures, the world’s largest patent troll, is testing out some new hilarious spin concerning its business of shaking down companies who innovate, getting them to pay huge sums of money to avoid getting sued. And, ridiculously, some in the tech press are falling for it. ZDNet’s Rachel King recently wrote about Salesforce.com paying off Intellectual Ventures not to sue it by basically reprinting IV’s press release, to the point of describing IV not for what it actually does, but as a company that “invests in and works with investors and technology businesses to drive innovation and invention.” Of course, if you know anything about Intellectual Ventures (or, hell, do a Google search) you’d quickly learn that what IV does has nothing to do with driving innovation or invention. It buys up crappy patents that are mostly worthless on their own, bundles them together in a big batch and then tells companies to pay up to (a) avoid getting sued and (b) get in on the deal by letting them use that big batch of patents at times.

The press doesn’t need to out and out call IV a troll, which it is, but you’d think that anyone reasonably versed in the space would at least acknowledge the controversy over the company. The idea that it “works with technology businesses to drive innovation” is laughable. It does no such thing. Nothing IV has ever done has helped drive innovation forward. This American Life tried very, very hard to find a single example of Intellectual Ventures actually helping move innovation forward, as opposed to just shaking down companies to get them to pay up, and came up empty. Even the examples IV gave to the reporters from TAL turned out to not live up to their own claims, but rather were more cases of blatant patent trolling: taking highly questionable patents, and getting companies who almost certainly don’t infringe, to pay up because it’s cheaper than a lawsuit.

To position Salesforce.com’s deal as some sort of cheery arrangement that somehow helps Salesforce.com is laughable. Salesforce.com just paid many millions of dollars to basically not be sued. That’s many millions of dollars that won’t be going into improving its products and services. There’s news here, but it’s not what’s being reported.

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: intellectual ventures, salesforce.com

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Tech Press Falling For Intellectual Venture's New Spin”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
23 Comments
horse with no name says:

This exposes

This exposes once again the problem of online “news” sources. You know, nobody on the internet knows you are a dog, and few people on the internet know that you are just a photocopier for press releases.

What makes it scarier is that almost every story on a site like Techdirt is based on a story written elsewhere, separating this site from the actual sources by at least one step. That initial filtering means that the writers here often start with less than the whole story. Worse, if their source is similar to Techdirt in nature, they may be getting the filtered version of the filtered version.

The internet is an echo chamber, and sites like this are often the most reflective surface of all!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: This exposes

Mainstream media is an echo chamber of propaganda. At least here you are allowed to come here and correct any mistakes. and if there are any and someone corrects it the article generally gets updated.

But what have you contributed? You complain about incorrect information but you don’t even have the decency to correct it? What exactly has your comment corrected here? Oh, you mean you have nothing to correct?

At least Techdirt has an editorial staff. At least Techdirt has open comments so that anyone, including you, can make corrections. So instead of complaining why don’t you correct something already?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: This exposes

This exposes once again the problem of online “news” sources. You know, nobody on the internet knows you are a dog, and few people on the internet know that you are just a photocopier for press releases.

Which just makes the internet exactly like the vast majority of non-internet news sources.

The real problem is that there is almost no actual journalism being done in the US today. The internet is actually improving this state of affairs. Yes, most news on the internet is the same bullshit you get elsewhere — but amongst the cruft you can find real, good journalism. This is only possible because the internet allows people to effectively distribute their reporting without having to rely on the Big Boys in news.

Anonymous Coward says:

“ZDNet’s Rachel King recently wrote about Salesforce.com paying off Intellectual Ventures not to sue it by basically reprinting IV’s press release, to the point of describing IV not for what it actually does, but as a company that “invests in and works with investors and technology businesses to drive innovation and invention.””

Sounds like extortion. “Give me a good rep or else …”

Anonymous Coward says:

IV is the lifeline

Intellectual Ventures is a fantastic company:

– They are sure to never leave the country, since their business depends on US laws.
– Their jobs are completely independent of innovation in the physical world since their invention is a way to patch patents together to give lawyers agita.
– Their taxbase is relatively easy to calculate since court records are open.

For a politician these are some of the most important properties for a good tax base. Intellectual Ventures is an amazing success story about the american dream still existing. Trying to take that away from them is, well, p…piracy/treason/terrorism!

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...