Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Trolls get a break as patent reform bill dies in Senate

After President Obama announced last year that he would push Congress to make patent reform a priority, it seemed possible that the U.S. patent system might change to take power away from patent trolls. Those companies, which make money from suing other corporations for patent infringement, have proven a bane for the tech industry. Now,… Read More


Intellectual Ventures’ licensing chief resigns, leaving deputies in charge

Intellectual Ventures’ top licensing executive, Andy Elder, has resigned his post for personal reasons and will depart at the end of the month, the company said today. It’s a major departure for Intellectual Ventures, which relies heavily on licensing revenue. Elder has been the company’s dealmaker-in-chief, leading the team that licenses Intellectual Ventures’ large portfolio of… Read More


Intellectual Ventures spins off new ‘Coffee Flour’ startup

A new Seattle-area startup called CF Global has been spun out of Intellectual Ventures, aiming to develop a market for a new product called Coffee Flour, a food ingredient derived from discarded coffee cherries. Intellectual Ventures, the patent holding firm and technology company run by former Microsoft technology chief Nathan Myhrvold, says CF Global is… Read More


White House moves forward with plan for patent reform

The U.S. government is moving forward with its plan to curb the practices of patent holding firms and on Thursday announced three new executive actions for a nationwide patent reform. One of the actions calls to “crowdsource” the review of patents and find “relevant prior art” to help U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officials figure out whether a… Read More


Intellectual Ventures to battle Google in court over mobile patents this week

For the first time ever, Intellectual Ventures finds itself in patent court this week. The Bellevue-based company run by former Microsoft technology chief Nathan Myhrvold is in a battle with Google’s Motorola Mobility unit over patents relating to smartphone technologies. Intellectual Ventures originally sued Motorola back in 2011 and was ultimately unsuccessful in reaching a licensing deal. As a… Read More

Nathan Myhrvold

Intellectual Ventures reveals list of 33,000 patents, in move toward (partial) transparency

Intellectual Ventures, under increasing pressure to be more transparent about its patent holdings, this morning released a searchable list of more than 33,000 of its patents — about 82 percent of the nearly 40,000 patents that the company makes available for sale, license and other commercial activities. The list, also available as a downloadable spreadsheet,… Read More


Visualant partners with Intellectual Ventures to help commercialize light-based identification technology

Visualant, a Seattle-based company that offers authentication and diagnostic solutions, today announced a partnership with Intellectual Ventures to spur commercialization of Visualant’s ChromaID technology. ChromaID uses light-based, spectral-pattern matching for identification applications in the security, medical, agricultural and industrial markets. The patented technology directs light onto a substance or material and allows for detection and diagnostic markers that the human… Read More


Intellectual Ventures teams with SURF incubator, aims to teach startups about patents

Intellectual Ventures can be a lightning rod for controversy in the technology industry, but the company has found a receptive audience among the startups at a Seattle-based technology incubator. The patent-holding firm, led by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, is teaming up with SURF Incubator in downtown Seattle, which largely serves as a community-supported place for budding startups. The… Read More


ASI Semiconductor inks patent deal with Intellectual Ventures for transistor technology

Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures (IV) announced a new patent licensing deal today with ASI Semiconductor Inc., a small Los Angeles company that manufactures RF power transistors and microwave diodes. ASI will now have permission to license IV’s radar and avionics RF power transistor technologies, which are part of a portfolio of nearly 40,000 IV-owned patents. IV… Read More


Intellectual Ventures spinout Evolv gets $11.8M from Bill Gates and others, aims to transform security scanning

Intellectual Ventures this morning announced a new spinout company, Evolv, that has landed $11.8 million in funding from investors including Bill Gates to develop imaging and detection products for a new form of security scanning at airports and other facilities. The new company, to be based in Boston, isn’t announcing details of its product plans…. Read More


Political push: Intellectual Ventures opens D.C. office to support new lobbying team

In an effort to support a lobbying push as the U.S. government cracks down on “patent trolls,” Intellectual Ventures is setting up an office in Washington D.C. Russell Merbeth, formerly the VP of Government Affairs for Cricket Communications, is now with Intellectual Ventures working as the company’s Chief Policy Counsel. According to the Washington Post,… Read More


Satellite communications startup Kymeta lands $50M from Bill Gates, others

Kymeta Corp., the satellite communications startup that spun out of Intellectual Ventures, has scored $50 million in venture funding. Backers of the Redmond company — led by serial entrepreneur Vern Fotheringham — include Bill Gates, Lux Capital, Liberty Global were joined in the financing by Osage University Partners and The Kresge Foundation. The company spun out… Read More


Nathan Myhrvold says discussions with Bill Gates ‘completely irrelevant’ in patent spat, claims he’s too busy to testify

As CEO of Intellectual Ventures, international traveler and cooking guru, Nathan Myhrvold is a busy man. So busy, in fact, that he doesn’t have time — nor thinks it’s necessary — to appear for a deposition in an ongoing spat with another patent holding firm. And he certainly doesn’t want to talk about alleged conversations he… Read More


Watch out, Intellectual Ventures: FTC to investigate patent-holding firms

President Barack Obama made it clear earlier this month that he wants to investigate the practices of patent-holding firms. Now,  it looks like the Federal Trade Commission is taking action. The New York Times reports that the F.T.C. is planning to announce an investigation of the “patent trolls,” that will require companies to answer questions about… Read More


Ballmer, Myhrvold make Top 100 list recognizing CEOs impacting science, tech education

Two Washington CEOs — and former Microsoft colleagues — made a Top 100 CEO list for executives that were recognized for making a difference in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industries and education. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Intellectual Ventures CEO Nathan Myrhvold made the list, which was compiled by STEMconnector “to salute and celebrate an… Read More

Nathan Myhrvold

More patent lawsuits: Intellectual Ventures sues Bank of America and BBVA Compass Bank

Continuing their campaign of suing banks, Intellectual Ventures has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Bank of America and BBVA Compass Bank. This is the third time in as many weeks that Nathan Myhrvold’s patent holding company has filed suits against members of the financial sector — a rapid litigation pace which indicates that large banks… Read More


This chart shows what’s royally messed up in the U.S. patent system

It’s been a huge week for patents — starting with This American Life’s follow-up on Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures and followed on Tuesday with President Barack Obama announcing plans to try to curb the activities of patent trolls. As part of Obama’s 5-point plan, the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers released a… Read More


Intellectual Ventures responds to This American Life, insists it doesn’t sue through shell companies

Intellectual Ventures, responding this afternoon to This American Life’s latest report on its patent dealings, denies that it uses shell companies to pursue patent lawsuits on its behalf. The statement specifically denies any ownership or control of a mysterious firm, Oasis Research, that filed suit against 18 tech companies using a patent purchased from Intellectual Ventures,… Read More