Google has announced the results of an experimental initiative to buy tech patents and license them at fair rates in order to prevent them falling into the hands of patent trolls. The company revealed that it bought 28% of the “relevant” patents offered to it, paying a median price of around $150k, reports IEEE Spectrum.
Google’s senior product licensing manager Kurt Brasch said that the company was “very, very happy” with the program, with the number of submissions substantially higher than expected…
Brasch said that the lowest price paid for a patent was just $3,000 and the highest was $250k, leaving the “several” companies who asked more than $1B for their patents out of luck. Google plans to disclose further information about the experiment once it has run further analysis.
Motherboard reported that while Google’s initiative has been generally well received by the tech industry, some concerns have been expressed.
There is no small irony in “fighting” patent abuse by consolidating a huge portfolio of patents, as the blog IP Watchdog has noted. Julie Samuels, the executive director of Engine, who sits on the advisory boards of both LOT and DPL, acknowledges the contradiction. “We’re glad to see that Google’s bought them because Google has made many public commitments to reforming the patent system. But to be fair we always feel uncomfortable when any one entity owns so many patents. That’s just not good for the world.”
The LOT Network is a separate anti-patent-troll program recently launched by Google to make patents available to startups at low prices, with two patents offered without charge.