The Godfather Goes To Washington

The singular best part about this article by Jeff John Roberts is the summary at the top:

The giant patent troll Intellectual Ventures decided to publish a partial list of the more than 40,000 patents it holds. Why is it doing this?

What’s so funny is, in today’s world where everything has to be over the top and choosing little-used but powerful adjectives is a journalistic sport, he chooses the word “giant”.  It struck me as very, very funny because it’s just so…true.

And then of course he includes the picture of Nathan Mhyrvold where he looks exactly like Daniel Hardman from Suits and I just have to say again what an incredible casting coup that was by USA Networks.  Spot.on.

mhyrvoldhardman

Mr. Roberts links to the page on IV’s site where they provide the as-noted partial list of patents.  Let’s drag out the Patent Troll Translator™ for it’s 2014 debut and run this page through, shall we?

At Intellectual Ventures, investing in invention is the core of our business. We routinely buy and sell patents, and are issued patents based on our in-house inventions. As part of managing our portfolio, we also prune patents that have expired, that do not meet our standards of quality, or are otherwise no longer valuable to our future plans. Since 2000, we have acquired more than 70,000 IP assets. Today, nearly 40,000 of those assets are in active monetization programs.

PTT™ says:

At Intellectual Ventures, extracting money from anyone who does business in America is the core of our business.  We routinely convince smaller entities to hand over their patents and “sell” patents (by which we mean we extort large licensing fees or exorbitant sales prices from unsuspecting victims), and are issued patents based on our in-house inventions, none of which have ever been brought to market but who’s counting? As part of managing our portfolio, we also prune patents that we don’t think will get us a big enough margin to afford the good stuff and are therefore no longer valuable to our future plans to take over the world.  Since 2000, we have acquired more than 70,000 IP assets.  Today, nearly 40,000 of those assets are actively being used as a stick to beat companies with until they comply and fork over our outrageous licensing fees.

If “investing in invention” is the “core of [your] business”, whey haven’t you actually invented anything?  Scratch that, I’m sure you’ve invented lots of things.  But why haven’t you actually brought a product to market using something you’ve invented and patented?  I mean, if I say that “bringing down patent trolls” is the core of my business, I ought to be able to show people what it is I’ve done to further that goal.  “The proof is in the pudding”, as my Mother used to say.  Where’s the pudding, IV?

Anyway, on to paragraph two on the Search Our Portfolio page:

We’ve made it convenient to search for assets by assembling the majority of our portfolio in one place. Customers interested in buying or licensing assets from our portfolio can search the database to find individual patents or whole technology areas of interest to them. Inventors looking to sell their patent assets to us can browse to better understand the technology areas of interest to us. Everyone can use the interactive tool to locate patent assets by number*, title, or country.

PTT™ says:

We’ve made it convenient to search for assets by assembling the parts of our portfolio that we don’t mind people knowing about.  Customers interested in determining if they’re next on our list of victims can search the database to find individual patents or whole technology areas of interest to them and their livelihood, after which they should immediately commence with lawyering up.  Inventors looking to team up with the giant patent troll that we are can browse to better understand how we might be able to pay you a pittance for what we will turn into a cash cow of litigation.  Everyone can use the interactive tool…see how generous we are?  Everyone can use it!!

It’s no secret these guys are trying to find ways to show the world that they’re on the up and up because of recent legislation seeking to derail the troll train.  To wit (from the Jeff John Roberts article):

In response to a question about the timing of the release, a spokesman said by email that, “this week was simply the week the list was ready.”

I’ll just let Harvey Spector reply to that:

Harvey Spector eyeroll

My Mother taught me many things growing up, one of which was “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”  In this case, you’ve got Intellectual Ventures and it’s ilk coming under tremendous scrutiny by the Feds and that’s when they choose to send the Chief Cook* and Bottlewasher to Capital Hill to lobby, and that’s when they choose to “disclose” their (partial list of) patents?

We’re not stupid, IV.  The smoke signals are coming in loud and clear.

JustSayin_small_New

IPTT

*Raise your hand if you caught that.

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