Intellectual Ventures Starts Political Action Committee; Clearly Worried That Serious Patent Reform Might Actually Happen This Time
from the not-really-panicking dept
As we noted last year, Intellectual Ventures started out insisting that it was a licensing company, not a patent troll. But it soon spoiled that story by filing more and more lawsuits, probably because it was running out of cash. A couple of weeks ago it laid off workers, too. But however rough things have been for Intellectual Ventures recently, they are likely to get a lot worse. That's because Congress looks like it might finally try to reform the patent system in a meaningful way that makes life harder for patent trolls. That's doubtless why Intellectual Ventures opened up a Washington DC office last year; and it also probably explains the following move, as reported in The Hill:
A company accused of being the world's largest "patent troll" is ramping up its presence in Washington by starting a political action committee that could contribute to campaigns.
According to Ars Technica, the company has already been quite active on the lobbying front for a while:
Intellectual Ventures, which is one of the country's top patent owners but makes few of its own products, filed to organize the committee with the Federal Election Commission this week.
For each of the past four years, Congressional lobbying records show that IV has spent about $1 million annually advocating to lawmakers in areas like patent policy and litigation reform. In 2007 and 2008, it spent around $900,000. Back in 2005, it spent $440,000.
Now we sit back and watch which politicians will suddenly discover serious doubts about the need for any of that patent reform nonsense....