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.

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.
According to Ars Technica, the company has already been quite active on the lobbying front for a while:
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....

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or, and +glynmoody on Google+

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: patent reform, troll
Companies: intellectual ventures

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2014 @ 8:52am

    Re: A Patent Licensing company *IS* a Patent Troll

    I disagree. You only become a "troll" if you pursue questionable patents (or copyrights) or pursue them in a questionable way.

    Prenda's a troll because they apparently set up a front company, lied about who was involved with what, stole someone's identity, could not properly identify the infringers, and abused the court system. If they had simply pursued a copyright action against someone who had actually infringed a copyright, they would not be a "troll".

    Similarly, Intellectual Ventures is only a troll because they have vague patents, bought a patent donated for public use and then sued based on it, have thousands of shell companies to hide their actions, etc. If they simply licensed - and sued based upon - solid patents, they would not be a troll.

Add Your Comment

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

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.