Bonum Certa Men Certa

Nathan Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures Could be Biggest Racketeering Operation in the United States and Beyond

Nathan Myhrvold



Summary: Patent thug Nathan Myhrvold turns out to have over 1,000 patent proxies with which to potentially attack and extort those who do not pay "protection money"; he also spent over $1 million lobbying his government

THE New York Times has published this report about Microsoft's patent troll Nathan Myhrvold, who is backed by his colleague Bill Gates, his former employer Microsoft, and even Apple. He already terrorises the industry using patents that it spent literally billions of dollars acquiring (not actually working to invent anything of substance).



“Yes, Intellectual Ventures uses "attack dogs" to fight its battles and this way it gets to pretend that it is not a patent aggressor.”According to the new report, "Intellectual Ventures spent more than $1 million on lobbying last year," says the president of the FFII. That's a lot of money to be spent changing the law in favour of a patent troll. Moreover, says the same person, "Up to 1,110 shell companies (ProxyTrolls) and affiliated entities appear to be linked to Intellectual Ventures."

Yes, Intellectual Ventures uses "attack dogs" to fight its battles and this way it gets to pretend that it is not a patent aggressor. Microsoft uses similar strategies when it sues Google and even GNU/Linux vendors.

Here is what TechDirt had to say about the report from the New York Times:

Nathan Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures Using Over 1,000 Shell Companies To Hide Patent Shakedown



It's no secret that we think Nathan Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures is a dangerous, innovation harming monstrosity. The company used a bait and switch scheme to get a bunch of big tech companies to fund it, not realizing that they were then going to be targets of his shakedown system. Basically, IV buys up (or in some cases, applies for) tons of patents, and then demands huge cash outlays from those same companies (often hundreds of millions of dollars) for a combined promise not to sue over those patents and (here's the sneaky bit) a bit of a pyramid scheme, where those in early supposedly get a cut of later deals. Of course, to just talk to IV requires strict NDAs, so the details of these deals are kept under wraps and only leaked out anonymously. But the hundreds of millions of dollars going towards this sort of trolling behavior, rather than any actual innovation in the marketplace can be seen on various financial filings (you can't hide hundreds of millions of dollars in payments that easily).


As a reader of ours pointed out some days ago, people like Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold are exploiting the press for self glorification. They are what's sometimes known as "attention whores" (Myhrvold talks about cooking/cuisine and Gates pretends to save the world that he loots). BoingBoing is falling for the PR charade just as before, so it is essentially joining national propaganda. It defends people who in reality deserve to be sent to prison, just like Rick Berman with his fake charities routine. Those who do not know Berman ought to read that post before they read anything about the Gates Foundation, which is a classic example akin to those pseudo-charities that Berman sets up. Here is Berman's latest attack on society, which he disguises under an Orwellian name like HumaneWatch.org.

Front group man extraordinaire Rick Berman and his attack group, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), have launched a new Web site, HumaneWatch.org, to harass the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the country's largest animal welfare organization. In pursuing its mission of stopping animal cruelty, HSUS has apparently run afoul of some large, wealthy business interests, and now it is getting some major pushback.


Microsoft uses the same strategy by urging its front groups to create fake movements and Web sites that claim to represent small businesses or citizens' interests. It's all about creating proxies, just like Intellectual Ventures which has many 'satellites' (like the mafia).

Speaking of patent harvesters, there is another new one called RPX. Microsoft is a member and Intel has just joined too.

Intel is diving into a patent pool in hopes of avoiding future troll attacks.

The chip maker has signed on with RPX, a patent aggregation startup whose members pay steep annual fees to help shield themselves from royalty demands and litigation costs of patent trolls.


That's nonsense. Patent trolls have no products, so RPX offers no defense against them. It's just another pool of huge companies which create a sort of cartel or coalition that transitions patent law into multi-player protectionism. Why is it again that the mainstream media is casting the biggest and most treasonous patent trolls as national heroes?

"In the fall of 1982, Pam Edstrom [of Waggener Edstrom], a diminutive woman with piercing blue eyes, was recruited by Microsoft. [...] In modern-day business, flacks were responsible not only for avoiding bad press, but for spinning the good. [...] Hanson and Edstrom would spin a whole new image for Gates himself. They would tap the best and worst of Chairman Bill, changing his clothes, his voice, and his allegiances, driving him to become not just the boss, but, essentially, the company mascot—a sort of high-technology Colonel Sanders."

--Pam's daughter

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