Summary: The patent pyramid scheme known as “Intellectual Ventures” is yet again caught passing legal weapons to be used in the courtroom
GLYN MOODY states that Nathan Myhrvold, the world’s largest patent troll which we wrote about some days ago [1, 2], “sells patents to litigants”. This is not the first time that we see this, but it’s yet another case which shows that Myhrvold deceives or lies when he says he doesn’t sue. He’s just suing or threatening using proxy companies (see previous example); the press reported that his firm had amassed over 1,000 satellite firms, usually just a bunch of patents and some lawyer/troll gardening them. From the latest example we learn that:
Former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold’s firm Intellectual Ventures, which has amassed a huge pile of more than 30,000 patents, says it doesn’t intend to sue companies over patent infringement. But Intellectual Ventures has lately shown a willingness to put its patent arsenal at the disposal of companies involved in litigation. In a deal announced today, Intellectual Ventures sold a “significant” number of patents to Vlingo, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company that makes voice-to-text software. Vlingo is involved in a legal dispute with a rival company, Nuance Communications, and said it intends to use the Intellectual Ventures patents to bolster its defense.
Microsoft too tried to do this and got caught [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Who knows how many times Microsoft did this without getting caught. At the moment, Microsoft lacks a legal response to i4i in their case which never dies (i4i has rights to brag [1, 2]. Lora Bentley points out that “[t]he patent company’s landmark battle against Microsoft began more than three years ago.” Microsoft could challenge this in the US Supreme Court, but it would not be so inclined to do such a risky thing as it would also jeopardise software patents in the United States.