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Patents: Don’t leave home without them?

American Express is the latest big company to sign an intellectual-property licensing agreement with Intellectual Ventures, the Bellevue-based firm run by former Microsoft technology chief Nathan Myhrvold. The patent deal was announced this morning.

“American Express is an innovative leader in the financial services sector,” said Don Merino, an Intellectual Ventures senior vice president, in the news release announcing the deal. “Through this agreement, we’re providing American Express with invention rights they can use to protect their products and future innovations.”

In a separate post on its blog, Intellectual Ventures says 2011 “has been a busy year” for the firm, including licensing deals with Samsung, HTC, Rim, Pantech, SAP, Micron, and Wistron. It has filed suit against companies including Symantec, Trend Micro, Dell and HP. Recently IV sued Motorola, which is in the process of being acquired by Google, one of Intellectual Ventures’ investors.

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