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

07.29.10

Is Nathan Myhrvold’s and Bill Gates’ Pyramid Scheme Finally Collapsing?

Posted in Apple, Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft, Patents at 11:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Happy face

Summary: Intellectual Ventures is reportedly failing, despite all the capital which was funneled into it by Gates, Microsoft, and Apple

ABOUT a decade ago, by Nathan Myhrvold’s own admission, Bill Gates and this buddy of his came up with the idea of patent hoarding (and subsequent patent extortion) into which the patents-loving Gates poured billions of dollars of his own money, along with Microsoft and Apple. They called it Intellectual Ventures and it is the most splendid example of why the patent system rewards unethical — and at times corrupt — individuals like patent trolls and racketeers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Nathan Myhrvold is considered the world’s biggest patent troll and he reportedly uses over 1,000 satellite firms (yes, that’s over one thousand) to engage in his extortion racket that’s structured like some sort of a pyramid.

Intellectual Ventures has already spent around $5 billion acquiring patents (that’s all it does as no products ever come out of Intellectual Ventures) and notable victims of extortion from Intellectual Ventures have paid around $100 million. That’s a lot of money, but apparently it’s not enough to make this unproductive parasite thrive as a business (if extortion qualifies as a legitimate business per se).

“Intellectual Ventures Shows A Negative 73 Percent Return,” says this new report, but it would be nice to have this claim verified independently.

The link is a PDf download of a document from the University of Texas Management Company listing all of its private investments in venture funds and private equity funds, along with their internal rates of return (IRR). One of the worst performers is Intellectual Ventures, the patent portfolio fund started by Nathan Myhrvold that has a reputation for patent extortion. One of its funds, the Invention Development Fund I, has a negative 73 percent IRR (Dixon mistakenly thought it was negative 78 percent, but close enough). Another fund, the Invention Investment Fund II, has a negative 10 percent return. The two funds combined are delivering a negative 36.66 percent IRR for the University of Texas.

Even if Intellectual Ventures operates at a loss, its terrorisation of the entire industry is a good outcome for some of its investors, which include Apple and Microsoft (they are on the safe side of course).

This patent troll needs to be eliminated and it’s very doubtful that anyone can be fined or arrested because with over a million dollars (per annum) in lobbying alone, Intellectual Ventures has made it apparent that the tail continues to wag the dog, i.e. the rich people continue to control the regulators who were supposed to watch them.

In other news of abuse, Rambus continues to attack the entire industry with submarine patents. [via]

The International Trade Commission has announced its findings in the NVIDIA/Rambus patent infringement lawsuit and it’s not the sort of ruling Team Green would’ve preferred. The commission found NVIDIA to be in violation of three Rambus patents. The trade panel also granted an injunction Rambus had requested, which theoretically prevents NVIDIA and the various companies attached to the lawsuit (Asus, HP, Palit, and MSI among others) from selling products that contain the infringing IP. This last bit sounds more ominous than it actually is; there’s a 60-day window before the injunction takes effect and NVIDIA believes it has other options.

Rambus — unlike Intellectual Ventures — at least has some products. So as much as the industry detests Rambus, no-one deserves exile more than Intellectual Ventures and the new-age gangsters who created it.

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

3 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    July 29, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Gravatar

    Is IV there for tax purposes?

    In any case, I believe that money comes in and it goes back out to its members following whatever formula they use. So we are getting money redistribution, likely from the majority of participants and towards a smaller group of earlier investors (eg, Gates and friends).

    This flow of money only exists because of the threat of voluminous amounts of litigation, made possible courtesy of patent law.

    I think many companies find ways to create shell companies that end up taking extra losses (through deals favorable to the “main company”) so the the main companies can take greater profits. Perhaps this is to exploit loopholes in tax or other laws or to help sell their product or to hide the money trail.

  2. gnufreex said,

    July 30, 2010 at 3:51 am

    Gravatar

    Did those scumbags (Intellectual Ventures) trolled (sued) anyone yet? Or they are going with silent Micro racketeering in a Soft manner?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Intellectual Ventures is already suing using its satellites.

What Else is New


  1. TechBytes Episode 89: Chromebooks, Privacy, and Vista 10

    An episode which focuses on the rise of Chromebooks, serious issues pertaining to privacy, media bias, and the demise of Windows



  2. Links 2/9/2015: Chromebooks and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  3. Software Patent From Troll Called 'Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations' a Symptom of a Rotten Patent System

    Another example of patent trolls and software patents as gatekeepers and parasites, denying access to very trivial ideas or implementations



  4. When Even Patent Lawyers' Blogs Acknowledge the Rapid Demise of Software Patents

    Voices for patents are accepting the new order wherein software patents are hardly potent at all (and increasingly difficult to acquire)



  5. Calling Proprietary Software, Software Patents, Lock-in (Like OOXML) and DRM 'Open'

    What Microsoft et al. call 'Next-Generation Open Media Formats' are basically neither open nor acceptable (it's DRM) and what Microsoft apologists dub 'Open Source Tools' are just another example of a Microsoft Office openwashing Trojan horse



  6. Recycled Old News About Vista 10, Stressing That Not Only '10' is Spyware But All of Windows is

    How Microsoft propagandists are spinning Microsoft's gross and potentially illegal privacy violations as a reason to 'upgrade' to Vista 10



  7. Links 1/9/2015: Manjaro Linux 0.8.13, Netrunner 14.2 LTS

    Links for the day



  8. Patents Roundup: IAM's Claims About India, Lawyers' Patent Bias, ITC for Microsoft, and PTAB Against Kyle Bass

    Another weekly summary, focusing on issues that pertain to or affect Free software in particular



  9. Microsoft Crowd Rocks the Media With Misleading Claims and Deliberate Lies About GNU/Linux, Vista 10, and Free/Open Source Software

    A roundup of rigged press coverage, intended purely to serve Microsoft's agenda



  10. Links 31/8/2015: Linux 4.2, LXLE 14.04.3

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: August 9th, 2015 – August 29th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  12. “Conservative” Site Responds (Yet Again) to Misguided “Conservative” Efforts to Derail Patent Reform in the US

    Patent trolls throw stones in glass houses, contributing to their own unpopularity, but some influential “Conservatives” continue to defend (conserve) them



  13. Increase in Lobbying for Software Patents in Europe and Its Trojan Horse, the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The relentless campaigns to bring software patents into Europe have not stopped and so-called 'unification' -- much like so-called 'trade' deals -- serves to support them



  14. Microsoft Technology Crashes Financial Markets, Again

    SunGard, which is a Microsoft shop, is clearly failing to provide what it calls mission-ciriticaal [sic] solutions



  15. Alice v. CLS Bank (Alice/§101) Comes to Squash Software Patents Even in Eastern District of Texas

    The crackdown on software patents is coming along nicely and the Alice case is now being utilised even in the capital of patent trolls



  16. Apple's Patent Cases Against Android Are Falling Apart, as Acknowledged Even by the Anti-Android Lobby





  17. Links 29/8/2015: NetworkManager 1.0.6, Systemd Merges “su” Command Replacement

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft Loves Linux to Death and Still Tries to Kill GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's relentless attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software in general (even if it runs on Windows) are so evident that claims of 'love' remain laughable at best (if not infuriating)



  19. Censorship, Self-Censorship and Intimidation Now the Modus Operandi at EPO

    The European Patent Office has ceased even trying to pretend that it respects human rights, including the right to free speech



  20. Patent Practitioners: "The Unitary Patent Might be Able to Open the Floodgates for Software Patents in Europe"

    The EPO-backed Unitary Patent scheme threatens to bring software patents to Europe and along with them a lot of patent trolls from all around the world (especially the United States)



  21. Microsoft Lies About Vista 10 and Increases Microsoft Surveillance (Even Beyond Vista 10 and Into Android, Vista 7/8)

    Windows surveillance expands retroactively, making its way into platforms other than Windows and also expanding to predecessors of Vista 10



  22. Another Suicide at the EPO, Fifth by Our Count

    Yet another EPO member of staff has just committed suicide, leading to the inevitable question: how many people need to die before Battistelli and his minions are out of the Office for good?



  23. Links 27/8/2015: ownCloud Desktop Client 2.0, Red Hat Downgraded

    Links for the day



  24. Microsoft-connected Mesosphere Threatens to Eliminate Free Software in the Datacentre

    Hiding behind a misleading 'open' label while actually backed by Microsoft (and based on new rumours may join Microsoft), Mesosphere wishes to eradicate Free and back doors-free software in large datacentres hosting a lot of physical and virtual servers



  25. Microsoft Aggression Against GNU/Linux Amid Vista 10's Failure

    A look at the recent assault on GNU/Linux in Munich and the likely cause for this assault (in such a timely fashion, too)



  26. Message to LinuxCon Regarding Microsoft: “It is Necessary to Get Behind Someone in Order to Stab Them in the Back.” -Sir Humphrey Appleby

    Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, helps Microsoft gain influence in the Foundation after payments are received



  27. Market Share Estimates Confirm That Vista 10 Failed in a Major Way

    Confirmatory evidence that Vista 10 is failing in the market about a month after its much-hyped (paid coverage) release



  28. When Microsoft, the Master of Patent Trolls, Complains About Trolls

    Possibly the world's biggest patent abuser and monopolist, which also creates many patent trolls (including by far the biggest one), takes on a far smaller abuser in Court



  29. Letter Signed by Two German Officials Becomes a Microsoft Weapon of Propaganda

    Microsoft and its minions refuse to leave Munich alone, even though the vast majority in Munich are perfectly happy with Free/libre software



  30. Links 25/8/2015: Linux Kernel 4.2 Final RC, KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts