Nathan Myhrvold Ups The Ante; Raising $1 Billion To Hoard More Patents
from the just-can't-stop dept
Of course, when people complain about what he's doing, he's quick to note that the company, Intellectual Ventures, has yet to sue anyone for patent infringement. That may be true, but as someone says in a new profile of the company in the Wall Street Journal, when you have a company that can "send letters to big companies saying, 'We have 800 patents that cover your business'... nobody can risk going to court, and they're just going to write you a check." The big news in the WSJ piece is that the $350 million to buy patents wasn't enough. Myhrvold is now out raising a $1 billion fund to buy up patents -- with a big target on sucking up patents from universities throughout Asia. This takes the concept of patent hoarding to entirely new levels. Traditionally, such firms are somewhat secretive and try to get a big win or two to fund a warchest for buying up more patents. In this case, Myhrvold seems to want to do the same thing, but in a much more professional looking manner. It's a total disgrace of the patent system, of course. About the only good news in the entire article is that Stanford and MIT refuse to work with Intellectual Ventures, stating: "We want to work with companies that are really going to develop the technology." Don't we all?