First, Myhrvold and his team released the geekiest cookbook the world has ever seen — a six-volume, 2,400-page, 40-pound epic called Modernist Cuisine, on the art and science of preparing food. Even Stephen Colbert was impressed with Myhrvold’s pastrami.
And second, Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures came under increased scrutiny for acquiring, trading, licensing and in some cases filing suit over its huge collection of patents — part of the rising tension over intellectual property across the tech industry.
The attention extended to the national media as the Bellevue-based company was accused of a ‘mafia-style shakedown’ in a This American Life radio exposé. Intellectual Ventures responded by saying it fundamentally disagreed with many of the assertions in the piece.
“Some of their characterizations of patents in general and of IV specifically were colorful and dramatic, and some were just absurd,” the company said at the time. “Sadly, they distracted listeners from the real issue – that ideas have value and inventors who invest time, money and emotional resources into protecting those ideas with patents have a right to recognize a return on their investments.”
Agree or disagree, there’s no disputing that Myhrvold was a major newsmaker this past year.