Thursday, February 26, 2009

CNET trashes Intellectual Ventures

Matt Asay wrote:

When I negotiate contracts with customers, intellectual-property indemnification is always the top legal concern. Always.
But it's not because of Microsoft and its recent TomTom patent lawsuit, or other such infringement suits between vendors. The concern is almost wholly related to patent trolls, and predominately because they have no vested interest in keeping customers happy, whereas vendors must...vend, and so can't afford to unduly upset customers.

Hence, while the open-source world is up in arms about Microsoft's TomTom patent suit, it should be far more worried about news that Intellectual Ventures has grabbed another 500 patents through a deal with Telcordia Technologies, as TechFlash reports. Intellectual Ventures, arguably the world's largest patent troll, is set up to do nothing more than license its intellectual property, which it has done to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Speaking of customers, IPBiz notes in the bad old days of the Selden patent, the patent holders used to threaten the car-buying customers of Henry Ford with ads along the lines "Don't buy a lawsuit." In the end, Ford won the lawsuit over the Selden patent, and observed what good advertising (for Ford) the Selden campaign had been.

Speaking of IV, one wonders what the stake of Microsoft in IV is?


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