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. Ruling Against 'Abstract' Software Patents is Already Derailing Patent Attacks on Linux and Free Software

    Patent litigation against Android/Linux impeded by the introduction of arguments that cite the Supreme Court



  2. Links 30/7/2014: Chris Beard as CEO of Mozilla

    Links for the day



  3. New Optimism in the Age of Doubt Over Software Patents

    As the tide turns against software patents, even in their country of origin, their opponents come out of the woodwork to celebrate



  4. Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

    Links for the day



  5. Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

    Links for the day



  6. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  7. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  8. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  9. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  10. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?





  11. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  12. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  13. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  14. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  15. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  16. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  17. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  18. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  19. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  20. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  21. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  22. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  23. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  24. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  26. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  27. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  28. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  29. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft


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