patent troll Stories August 5, 2015

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… expand full story

patent troll Stories July 9, 2014

According to a new report out of Re/code, Google will be joining forces with a variety of other tech companies to fight patent trolls. The Mountain View company will join Canon, SAP, Newegg, Dropbox, and Asana to ward off the trolls. Between the six of them, the companies hold more than 300,000 patent assets. The companies aren’t licensing their patents to one another, but rather joining the License on Transfer network. With this network, the companies promise to grant licenses to one another whenever one of their patents is sold, preventing it from being used against them by a troll.

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patent troll Stories April 5, 2013

Google today announced in a blog post on its Public Policy Blog that it has asked the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to investigate and take a stronger stance against patent privateering and patent assertion entities, aka patent trolls. Google linked to a document submittedGoogle-building to the government agencies mentioned above and noted that BlackBerry, Earthlink and RedHat are among other companies backing the request.

Within its post, Google’s Senior Competition Counsel Matthew Bye cited losses of nearly $30 billion a year in the U.S. due to patent trolls and urged companies to help Google create “cooperative licensing agreements that can help curb privateering.”

Trolls use the patents they receive to sue with impunity—since they don’t make anything, they can’t be countersued. The transferring company hides behind the troll to shield itself from litigation, and sometimes even arranges to get a cut of the money extracted by troll lawsuits and licenses.

Google described patent privateering as companies selling “patents to trolls with the goal of waging asymmetric warfare against its competitors.” While it didn’t name any companies specifically in its blog post or document submitted to the FTC, it did link to an article on Bloomberg that mentions Microsoft, Nokia, and Alcatel-Lucent as companies linked to patent privateering.

In the document submitted to the FTC, Google outlined its stance on patent trolls and recommended the FTC initiate an investigation into patent assertion entities and or expand its broader inquiry to include a number of important areas specifically related to patent privateering: expand full story

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