EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.12.08

Searete a Part of Intellectual Ventures, a Patent-trolling Firm

Posted in Bill Gates, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 7:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Troll in the garden

“Microsoft hardly needs an SCO source license. Its license payment to SCO is simply a good-looking way to pass along a bribe…”

Bruce Perens

A couple of days ago we explained why Bill Gates was becoming a patent troll, just like his friend and colleague Nathan Myhrvold. Todd Bishop’s report about Searete (and Bill Gates) now suggests that it is part of the umbrella that’s the world’s largest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures LLC.

Bill Gates and several of Microsoft’s top technologists are credited as inventors in eight newly disclosed U.S. patent applications. That isn’t a surprise. But here’s where it starts to get unusual: The applications weren’t made on Microsoft’s behalf.

[...]

Here’s what we know: An entity called Searete LLC applied for the patents. Searete is part of Intellectual Ventures LLC, the Bellevue-based invention house run by Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft’s former chief technology officer. Myhrvold’s company has stirred controversy with its large patent hoard.

Slashdot’s summary is a particularly good one because of the useful links.

“TechFlash reports that Microsoft bigwigs like Craig Mundie and Bill Gates (when he still worked there) have been secretly moonlighting at Intellectual Ventures (IV), the ‘patent extortion fund‘ run by Bill’s pal Nathan Myhrvold. A Microsoft spokesman confirmed that its technologists have been sitting in on IV-sponsored ‘innovation sessions,’ where their pearls of wisdom were captured and turned into patent applications for Searete, an IV shadow corporate entity. And if all goes well, Searete will soon enjoy exclusive rights to the fruit of the brainstorming, which includes processes ranging from determining and rewarding ‘influencers’ to treating malaria, HIV, TB, hepatitis, smallpox, and cancer.”

A contributor and informant of ours found this much older article about the relationship between Myhrvold and Gates, among other things. Here is a gem:

If Microsoft had simply bundled the RIP technology in the next version of its operating systems, the World Wide Web may have evolved in a very different way, leaving nothing for Netscape to create.

Groklaw highlights this one from September:

Just like in the story-line of Independence Day, where the alien death ships slowly but surely positioned themselves over each major city, with the eventual outcome well understood, so too is Intellectual Ventures (I.V.) slowly positioning itself as the patent overlord over many major industry segments. Just like in the movie, the eventual outcome is well understood. To wit: Complete usurpation of the U.S. Patent system. The outcome is a ,gigantic tax/toll collector controlling the pulse of innovation in the U.S. or, like the move, extermination of innovation.

The 20,000 patents, and growing, in the I.V. portfolio have each withstood an average of but 14 hours of scrutiny by the U.S. Patent Office. That’s it; less than 2 business days of total review to issue a property right that, when amassed as I.V. has done, can inflict great pain ($ 1 Billion per) upon an entire industry. But here’s why the Emperor has no clothes: In any collection of patents, bar none, about 95% of the patents reflect the worth of their 14 hours of individual scrutiny. In addition, the Supreme Court, last year, re-wrote the standard of review (KSR V. TeleFlex). In short, these patents are not worth the paper they are printed on. But, owing to the excessive cost and uncertainty to have a second look at these patents either during the course of litigation, or through the Patent Office Reexamination procedures, most victims of this licensing extortion racket meekly pay-up. What Myhrvold has wrought is an obscene abuse of the patent system. It should be stopped, either by industry groups banding together to file reexaminations, or by Congress, or both.

To summarise, what we apparently have here is the regrouping of people who work outside Microsoft and accumulate weaponry which can be used in a patent troll-like fashion, whereby litigation or extortion cannot be suppressed by a counter-lawsuits. Intellectual Ventures and Searete have no actual products, and there is no plan to have any.

Bearing in mind the Acacia incident [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], these guys need to be watched closely.

patent threat
Photo under the GNU Free Documentation license

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Techrights to Delete Articles From All Past Years to Save Disk Space

    What if we deleted over 25,000 posts?



  2. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, March 30, 2020



  3. Links 30/3/2020: GNU Linux-libre 5.6, WireGuard 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 29, 2020



  5. Links 30/3/2020: Linux 5.6, Nitrux 1.2.7, Sparky 2020.03.1

    Links for the day



  6. The Fall of the UPC - Part IX: Campinos Opens His Mouth One Week Later (and It's That Hilarious Delusion Again)

    Team Campinos said nothing whatsoever about the decision of the FCC until one week later, whereupon Campinos leveraged some words from Christine Lambrecht to mislead everybody in the EPO's official "news" section



  7. Pretending EPO Corruption Stopped Under António Campinos When It is in Fact a Lot Worse in Several Respects/Aspects (Than It Was Under Benoît Battistelli)

    Germany's eagerness to keep Europe's central patent office in Munich (and to a lesser degree in Berlin) means that politicians in the capital and in Bavaria turn a blind eye to abuses, corruption and even serious crimes; this won't help Germany's image in the long run



  8. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 28, 2020



  9. Links 28/3/2020: Wine 5.5 Released, EasyPup 2.2.14, WordPress 5.4 RC5 and End of Truthdig

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, March 27, 2020



  11. The Fall of the UPC - Part VIII: Team UPC Celebrates Death, Not Life

    Team UPC plays psychological games now; it is trying to twist or spin its defeat as good news and something to be almost celebrated; it is really as illogical (and pathetic) as that sounds



  12. Links 27/3/2020: GNU/Linux Versus COVID-19 and Release of GNU Guile 3.0.2

    Links for the day



  13. When Your 'Business' is Just 'Patent Portfolio'

    Hoarding loads of patents may seem impressive, but eating them to survive is impossible if not impermissible



  14. LOT Network is a One-Man (Millionaire's) Operation and Why This Should Alarm You

    The ugly story of Open Invention Network (OIN) and LOT; today we take a closer look at LOT and highlight a pattern of 'cross-pollination' (people in both OIN and LOT, even at the same time)



  15. Faking Production With Fake Patents on Software

    The EPO with its illegal guidelines (in violation of the EPC) can carry on churning out millions of fake patents that European courts would only waste time on and small companies be blackmailed with (they cannot afford legal battles)



  16. With the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Out of the Way Focus Will Return to EPO Corruption

    Expect the European Patent Office (EPO) to receive more negative attention now that the ’cause’ of UPC is lost and there’s no point pretending things are rosy



  17. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 26, 2020



  18. Links 27/3/2020: qBittorrent 4.2.2, Krita 4.2.9, pfSense 2.4, Bodhi Linux 5

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, March 25, 2020



  20. Still Work in Progress: Getting Those 2,851 Pages of Police Report About Arrest for Pedophilia in Home of Bill Gates

    It’s extremely difficult to get those police records, which were requested exactly one day before the media started attacking Richard Stallman (associating him with pedophiles based on a deliberate distortion)



  21. Links 26/3/2020: Plasma Bigscreen, New Kubernetes, Fedora's New Identity and Bodhi Linux 5.1.0

    Links for the day



  22. Guest Article: Window Managers, Github and Software Disobedience

    "Walking away from monopolies is the essence of freedom"



  23. Links 25/3/2020: LLVM 10.0.0 and UCS 4.4-4 Released, WordPress 5.4 RC4

    Links for the day



  24. 'Team UPC' Last Week

    The looks on Team UPC's faces 5 days ago (before and after the 9:30AM announcement)



  25. The Fall of the UPC - Part VII: Lies and Revisionism About the Reasons for the UPC's Ultimate Demise (to Leave the Door Open for More Failed Attempts)

    The media was lying in a hurry, in a coordinated effort to distort the meaning of the FCC's decision or belittle the impact of this decision; Techrights will carefully watch and respond to these lies



  26. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 24, 2020



  27. Linux Foundation Became Anti-Linux, Run by Microsoft People to Serve Microsoft's Agenda

    Microsoft is taking over the bodies of healthy projects, infecting the hosts in order for them to become slaves of the proprietary parasite; there's still no (known) cure, but we're familiar with the symptoms



  28. Microsoft Continues to Attack and Steal From the Open Source/Free Software Communities

    Microsoft cannot be trusted and there's no "new Microsoft," as another fairly new story serves to show



  29. Targeted Attack Leveraging FSF Servers

    Targeted by a determined and persist perpetrator, I've received over 20,000 E-mails. And the weapon of choice was the FSF's infrastructure, remotely misused against yours truly.



  30. If We Weren't Silencing Founders, Critics and People We Just Don't Like

    "In the long run, history is rarely very kind to tyrants, especially the ones who did little more than lie to people and demand things that served no real purpose."


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts