Nathan Myhrvold’s patent firm Intellectual Ventures lays off 5% of workforce

Nathan Myhrvold

Nathan Myhrvold

Intellectual Ventures says it has laid off 5 percent of its workforce — following earlier reports that the company had curtailed its patent acquisitions while trying to raise as much as $3 billion in new capital.

The patent holding company, run by former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold, confirmed the news in a statement this morning. The company did not say how many positions the 5 percent reduction represents.

Here’s the statement in full.

“Intellectual Ventures has always had a bold vision — to establish an active market for invention where inventors realize the value of their ideas. We continue to refine our business and in doing so restructured the company to deliver on our commitments, including maximizing the return for our investors. This restructure is a combination of head count and operational improvements. We have eliminated approximately five percent of our global workforce and consolidated other positions elsewhere in the company. We remain committed to delivering long-term returns for our investors through a variety of monetization paths.”

Reuters reported earlier that some of Intellectual Ventures’ original investors, including Google, were declining to participate in the company’s new funding round. IV and Google’s Motorola Mobility unit recently saw a patent dispute between them end in a mistrial.

Intellectual Ventures has been facing increasing regulatory scrutiny as part of broader investigations into patent holding firms. The company was put into the national spotlight by a pair of investigative reports from public radio program This American Life.

The company has amassed about 70,000 patents over the years, and it has become increasingly litigious in recent years, with lawsuits against companies such as ToshibaCanonSymantecAT&T, CenturyLink, Windstream, as well as banks like Capital OneFirst National Bank of Omaha and PNC.

  • Slaggggg

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Suck it, IV — now make it 95%!
    Unfortuntaely 5% layoffs are easy (cut the deadwood) so this isn’t the bad news for them that we all hope for.

  • JT

    Good. The last thing society needs is these guys raising money to expand
    their patent trolling of the people who actually create real products.
    Ideas are dime a dozen in software; execution on the idea is
    everything.