by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:

best buy, dell, hp, intellectual ventures, walmart

Intellectual Ventures Keeps On Suing

from the trolly-trolly-trolly-troll dept

For years, Nathan Mhyrvold's Intellectual Ventures tried to avoid the "patent troll" label, in part by not filing any lawsuits. Boy, has that changed. A few months ago it filed its first three lawsuits, against a bunch of tech companies, and now it's gone right back to court to sue a bunch more, including Dell, HP, Asus, Acer, Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Of course, it's all a big shakedown scheme. To IV, you're either "with them" (which means holding your nose and paying upwards of $100 million for a blanket license) or "against them" (which means they'll sue you). It's not hard to see why many people seem to feel that this is all just a giant shakedown racket.

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  • identicon
    Dave, 15 Jul 2011 @ 3:57pm

    Really sad

    You're right, it's totally a shakedown racket. It's a classic case of what happens when you have way too much money. Accountability shrinks down to zero, and you do what you want. That's got to be fun.

    Myrhvold even snowed Malcolm Gladwell, a guy I usually enjoy reading. All that money and cool science stuff must have gotten to him, as he mention the patent troll thing in passing, but very dismissively.

    Myrhvold finished his vanity $400 cookbook project, and now I guess he's bored, so he's going to make good on suing everyone he can. Beats innovating and working, I guess. Grim stuff, indeed.

    I'm not nuts about Bill Gates, but at least in his dotage he's doing some really good stuff with his foundation. Nate has other plans. Sigh.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jcar2 (profile), 15 Jul 2011 @ 5:07pm

      Re: Really sad

      What's interesting about B&M Gates Foundation isn't what they do with their donations, so much as what the investment arm of his foundation invests pharmaceutical patents, tobacco, petroleum (BP), experimental and controversial crops (Monsanto), and even investments in news/media (to keep people thinking it's all for the good of the children).

      It's a pretty foundation with dirty hands. Philanthrocapitalism is very profitable and tax free.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      The Devil's Coachman (profile), 16 Jul 2011 @ 4:29am

      Re: Really sad

      His vanity cookbook is just one illustration of his mindset, in that he has no problem with selling it at over $400, with a large number of recipes requiring hugely expensive equipment, and is so totally out of touch with the average, skilled home cook as to render it completely irrelevant. But publish it he did, and it is currently selling on for $477.93, while actually attracting buyers who apparently think spending all that money for five volumes with fancy photography is somehow justifiable. They are what I call the "more money than brains" crowd, and their numbers, while apparently large, are not growing significantly. For the same money, I could fill a three foot bookshelf with the works of real culinary masters, with recipes that can actually be executed in the average home kitchen. "Vanity project" indeed!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ken, 15 Jul 2011 @ 4:46pm

    Use it or lose it rule for patents and copyprivelage.

    More proof that if a patent holder has not produced or made something out of their patent after 5 years they lose it. Enough is enough. There needs to be laws to prevent patent and copyright trolls.

    Another option is that all patent applications must include a business plan and proof of capitol to show the patent can be implemented. Patent holders should also be subject to lawsuits by other interested parties if the patent holder shows no sign of developing the patent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), 16 Jul 2011 @ 3:46pm

    Protection racket by definition

    We have a privilege that enables the holder to threaten others with extreme penalties unless they settle, and people are surprised that patent exhibits all the characteristics of a protection racket. Indoctrination sure does work.

    It won't get better. Patent cannot be reformed to work less like patent. You need to think in terms of repeal, not reform.

    If you want to offer someone a reward for curing cancer then offer them a reward for doing so. Don't get confused by the idea that suspending mankind's liberty to utilise discoveries or inventions is somehow going to advance progress.

    The monopolist can get wealthy by producing a palliative that they can keep on selling at monopoly protected prices to people who never get cured, so it's not surprising monopolies are attractive, but if it's progress you want, they're completely counter-productive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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