Friday, June 25, 2004

The IEEE Takes on Acacia - This article is a must-read for anyone dealing with patent holding companies, and especially for those lucky ones who are dealing with Acacia. By its own account, Acacia is the only publicly traded company in the world that does nothing but acquire and license patents, and sue other companies over the patents it acquires and licenses.

The company had 2003 revenues of just $692 000, all from the streaming media patents. (Though the V-chip patent didn't expire until midyear, its license fees were all taken in 2001.) With more and more licensees signing up, Acacia couldn't say how much it would take in for 2004. But by February, its licenses in hand were worth $2 million per year. It was only in late 2002 that Acacia began sending out glossy folders to possible infringers, with polite letters asking them to take out licenses.

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