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Trim those trees! Why Bill Gates and friends want to put accelerometers on power lines

Accelerometers have become a common part of the sensor arrays on smartphones and other devices, but a group that includes Bill Gates is suggesting a different application — putting the motion-sensing devices on power lines to understand how far they move in wind and other conditions, and how close they come to trees and other nearby objects. In other words,… 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Watch out, Intellectual Ventures? President Obama says enough with patent shenanigans

Now, this could get rather interesting. President Barack Obama is expected to announce measures on Tuesday that could curb the practices of patent holding firms, reports The Wall Street Journal. The president’s foray into the debate over so-called patent trolls could have profound implications in the Seattle tech industry as Bellevue-based Intellectual Ventures is known… Read More

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This American Life: Intellectual Ventures got 90% of ongoing profits even after selling patent

Intellectual Ventures struck a deal to receive 90 percent of the ongoing profits from a patent that it sold to a mysterious company called Oasis Research — which then used the patent to sue 16 tech companies, reaching large settlements with many of them. That’s according to a follow-up piece airing this weekend on This American Life,… Read More

Nathan Myhrvold

Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures is now going after banks, sues PNC and First National Bank of Omaha

Intellectual Ventures, the patent holding company led by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, is turning its attention to financial institutions. Today, the Bellevue-based firm — which has already engaged in litigation with the likes of Toshiba, Canon, Symantec, AT&T, CenturyLink and Windstream,— announced that it has sued two financial services firms: First National Bank of Omaha and PNC. (Follow links… Read More

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Intellectual Ventures inks patent deal with Salesforce, its first cloud-computing pact

Intellectual Ventures today announced a patent licensing agreement with Salesforce.com —the Bellevue-based company’s first licensing customer in the area of cloud computing. The company says the deal will give Salesforce access to Intellectual Ventures’ nearly 40,000 patents and patent applications. Salesforce will also be able to use IV’s patents to fend off litigation and patent challenges, as part of… Read More

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Myhrvold to Slashdot: We’re more alike than you think

With a caffeine-free Diet Coke and a cappuccino by his side, Nathan Myhrvold entered the “lion’s den” today — a.k.a. Slashdot — and tried to persuade the site’s denizens that he’s one of them … at least to an extent. “The fact is that I have more in common with you guys on /. than you might… Read More

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Intellectual Ventures sues Ricoh and Canon, says they pose a ‘threat to innovation’

Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures on Tuesday filed its second complaint against Canon and first against Ricoh for infringing on its patents dealing with printing technology. IV approached both companies and tried to engage in licensing discussions, but those obviously never panned out. This follows a series of IV lawsuits against Toshiba, Symantec, AT&T, CenturyLink and Windstream, all filed… Read More

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Nathan Myhrvold to Microsoft alumni: ‘We participated in one of the most beneficial revolutions in human history’

For nearly one hour, Nathan Myhrvold stood in front of members of the Microsoft Alumni Network and talked strictly about Modernist Cuisine — the epic, five-volume cookbook-to-end-all-cookbooks, featuring recipes engineered in a stainless-steel suburban lab, and photographs shot in a carefully lighted studio, created in collaboration with Myhrvold, co-founder of Intellectual Ventures and one of the technology… Read More

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Kymeta: Is this Bill Gates’ next billion-dollar company?

Wireless technology company Kymeta Corp. has been in business for a grand total of seven months, but already it has landed a $6.2 million engineering contract with the Inmarsat satellite company to accelerate its product development. Kymeta has grown to more than 40 employees and contractors, including some of the leading experts in the field, and its Redmond… Read More

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Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures settles with Lattice

Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures has reached its second settlement agreement in its case against manufacturers in the semiconductor industry. The company announced today that it signed a license agreement and resolved a patent suit from a case filed in December 2010 against Lattice Semiconductor. Intellectual Ventures reached a similar settlement agreement in January with Microsemi, a maker of semiconductor systems for… Read More

Nathan Myhrvold

Intellectual Ventures sues AT&T, CenturyLink and Windstream over DSL patents

Intellectual Ventures has filed suit against AT&T, CenturyLink and Windstream Communications, alleging that their DSL Internet services violate some of the tens of thousands of patents in Intellectual Ventures’ portfolio. The suits, filed last week in federal court in Texas, are the latest in a series of cases brought the Bellevue-based patent holding company and… Read More

Nathan Myhrvold

Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures settles with Microsemi, turns them into a customer

Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures has entered into a settlement agreement with Microsemi, resolving the patent suit that it filed against the company in December 2010. Settlement terms were not revealed. But Microsemi, a maker of semiconductor systems for the communications, defense and aerospace industries, has agreed to license portions of Intellectual Ventures’ patent portfolio going forward. Intellectual… Read More

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Year in review: Vote for the top Seattle tech story of 2012

It’s been quite the year in Seattle technology. Amazon.com kept growing. Microsoft kept transforming. And several startups raised huge rounds of cash as they looked to become the next Microsoft or Amazon. In case your head was filled with too many Tweets and Facebook posts to keep up, here’s a handy look back at the biggest… Read More