Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tech Sector Holds Breath as IV Unloads More Patents

Today's Wall Street Journal reports:

Intellectual Ventures LLC continues to sell some of its vast patent holdings, recently selling patents to two companies that incorporated in Marshall, Texas, a favored venue for litigious patent-holding companies known as patent trolls.

WebVention LLC acquired five patents in November from Ferrara Ethereal LLC, an IV shell company. Headquartered in Marshall, WebVention is licensing one of the patents, which covers "structures and methods for organizing, presenting, and accessing information.

InMotion Imagery Technologies LLC, also of Marshall, acquired three patents that cover picture-based video-indexing technology from a different IV shell in November. 
While neither company has filed suit (yet), many people get nervous when IV sells patents, as this strategy is part and parcel of the notorious "catch and release" tactic used by patent aggregators, where patents are obtained and shopped around for a limited period of time.  After the time passes, the patents are then shopped to more aggressive holding companies for enforcement, while IV holds on to a "back-end" interest in the licensing revenue.

This appears to be part of a recent effort by IV to sell of patents for the purposes of licensing /enforcement - Webvention and other IV shell companies were covered last December by the Recorder ("What's Cooking at Intellectual Ventures?")

While InMotion does not have a website, WebVention does, and it can be viewed here (link).

See also earlier coverage of IV at the Prior Art Blog, including "Is Intellectual Ventures revving up its lawsuit machine? Will we know when it does?"

2 Comentários:

Anonymous said...

That patent is so prevalent in practice that even the website for the Eastern District of Texas is potentially in violation.

Anonymous said...

http://www.txed.uscourts.gov/

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