“Patent trolls” are feeling the heat in Washington — and they’re taking steps to defend themselves in D.C.
Long pilloried in Silicon Valley as a drain on innovation, such companies have seen their troubles mount with regulators and lawmakers.
First, “long pilloried”, as used in the quoted article, is one of my favorite phrases ever, right after “Behold, I have found the stash of chocolate!”
Second, Nathan Mhyrvold’s being sent to DC to “make the case that patents benefit inventors” isn’t being 100% truthful because
Intellectual Venture’s isn’t known for it’s ability to tell the truth they’re a troll. He’s being sent there because all of the bills before congress are about to put the hurt on his business model. It looks like the Goodlatte bill is really stuck in his craw. They’re not saying that, of course, they’re generalizing the problem in an effort to dilute their affect on it:
The current debate about patent trolls “seems to create uncertainty around patents generally,” said Russ Merbeth, chief policy counsel at Intellectual Ventures. “From our perspective, that’s going to have a long-term negative impact on American competitiveness.
What’s a “chief policy counsel”, anyway? When I think of company policy, I think of things like deciding whether or not to put a note on the fridge that all leftovers will be tossed by Friday noon, or setting the precedent that, though it does frequently reach 500 degrees with 1000% humidity in the summer in
the armpit of the US Houston, no, you cannot wear a tank top, capris, and flip flops to the office. I suppose in this case, the chief policy officer’s job is to deflect the real issue and talk about how these bills will hurt American competitiveness which IV is doing , what, exactly, to help?
Intellectual Ventures executives have taken to the company’s corporate blog to question the “myth of patent troll litigation” and have touted the company’s role in helping startups, including Nest, the “learning” thermostat maker that has access to nearly 40,000 IV patents.
Uh, guess not. Nest came to you so they could fight off Honeywell in much the same way that Ditto went to IP Nav to fight off 1-800-Contacts. Nice try.
Look, you don’t file paperwork and spend $165,000 to fight something you’re not worried about. The fact that IV and others who are part of the Innovation Alliance are worried tells you you’re close to home.
As always, I’ll add my standard disclaimer that I think the market system can solve this problem quicker than the feds can (insert shameless plug for That Patent Tool here). But I think there are some good things in the Goodlatte bill, and I know this because they’ve got IV on the run.