IV Insights Blog

Posts tagged: Mobile

Software Patents: Just Because It’s in Code Doesn’t Mean it Isn’t an Invention

Within the loud and often incoherent chorus of anti-patent “reformers,’’ there’s a particularly shrill sub-group who rail against software patents.

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Patents are Recipes, Not Monopolies, on Invention

There are many misconceptions in the political debates about “fixing” the patent system, but one particularly flawed idea is that patents are a kind of monopoly that stifles competition. If that were true, it would be a real problem. Competition is a cornerstone of our economic system, and it drives both spectacular innovation and lower prices for consumers.

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How Many Patents Make a “Patent War”?

When I speak on today’s “smart phone war,” I often point out to the surprise of my audience that such patent wars are nothing new.  Patent scholars call these wars by the more boring label of a “patent thicket” (proving once again that geeks like us just don’t know how to coin a good phrase).  My research into the very first patent thicket — the Sewing Machine War of the 1850s — has made me the “sewing machine guy” in the patent and tech law world.  I don’t mind; as I recently pointed out, as have others, there have been many patent wars since the 1850s, including the “diaper wars” and “stent wars” of the 1980s, which are all very well known within patent law circles. I must admit that I prefer being the “sewing machine guy” to being the “diaper guy.”

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IV Speaks: Fall 2012

Interested in hearing more from IV this fall? IV’s founders, executives, and employees at every level regularly speak at public events and seminars. Here’s a snapshot of upcoming opportunities:  

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IV’s Ken Lustig in Forbes: No, the Patent System is Not Broken

This week, Ken Lustig, VP and head of strategic acquisitions at IV, contributed a guest column to the Forbes Leadership Forum in which he sheds light on common misperceptions surrounding the “smart phone wars” and the effects of patent litigation on innovation. Ken discusses today’s patent controversies within the context of the history of the U.S. patent system and the traditional role of patent enforcement in the development of new technologies. Citing a wealth of data and historic examples, he concludes that today’s litigation and trading of technology patents is not only in line with historic norms, but remains crucial to the development of new industries and ultimately the growth of the U.S. economy:

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IV Signs LG Electronics as Latest Customer

This morning we announced that LG Electronics is our newest licensing customer, joining a growing list of licensees that includes some of the largest mobile handset manufacturers – HTC, RIM, Samsung, Pantech – and now LG. Today’s deal provides LG with a license to segments of IV’s extensive patent portfolio, which includes more than 35,000 assets in more than 50 technology sectors.

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Pantech Corporation Is Intellectual Ventures Newest Customer

We just announced our newest customer, Pantech, one of Korea’s top mobile handset makers. With this deal, Intellectual Ventures provides Pantech with a license to segments of our patent portfolio, which includes more than 35,000 IP assets in more than 50 technology areas.

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Fortune Q&A with Nathan Myhrvold

Stemming from a recent article on the strategic use of patents in the mobile phone industry, Fortune posted an expanded Q&A with IV CEO Nathan Myhrvold on the evolution of the market for patents. Nathan provided his perspective on the historic role of patents in the mobile phone industry, and how the current  “smart phone wars” illustrate the need for an efficient invention capital market to continue incentivizing innovation:

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IV’s Peter Detkin on Google, Motorola and an Evolving Patent System

Today’s edition of the Wall Street Journal includes a letter to the editor from Peter Detkin, founder and vice chairman of Intellectual Ventures. Peter’s letter addresses an August 22 editorial by Gordon Crovitz on the U.S. patent system, and discusses Google’s recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility as an example of how the system has evolved to treat patents as a liquid form of capital.

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Nathan Myhrvold Talks Tech with IEEE Spectrum

Last week, Intellectual Ventures CEO Nathan Myhrvold spoke with IEEE Spectrum magazine, offering his insights on Google’s recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility and the growing importance of patents in the mobile phone industry. Nathan discussed not only the current “smartphone wars,” but also the convergence of technologies and “winner take most” culture in Silicon Valley that precipitated the explosive growth of the smartphone market: 

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Observations on the Nortel Patent Auction

As the world just learned, a consortium of rival technology companies, including Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Sony, Ericsson and EMC, outbid Google and its partners in a $4.5 billion mega-purchase for the rights to a patent portfolio from Nortel Networks. By all accounts this is an unprecedented event, in terms of size (~6,000 patents), dollar value (~$750,000 per protected idea) and its potential impact on the mobile computing industry.

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Leveling the Playing Field with Patents for Defensive Purposes

Today we announced a new customer, Dashwire, which creates mobile and web applications for easy setup, data backup and photo/video sharing between mobile devices. Dashwire is a young and successful company faced with litigation from a much larger competitor. By becoming an IV customer, Dashwire has established a foundation of patent coverage and also acquired patents to use for defensive purposes. As we wrote last week, with thousands of patents related to mobile devices, it’s no surprise that there’s patent infringement litigation in every part of the industry, from software and hardware to features and functions.

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IV Signs Another Customer in the Mobile Telecoms Industry

In the past few years, as the smartphone industry has surged and new operating systems have begun competing with the established market players, the industry has seen an increase in litigation commonly referred to in the press as “smartphone wars.” Why has this happened? The reality is that as devices get more and more complex and contain even more features, no single company can own all the patents relevant to technology within an average mobile device. In fact, it’s been estimated that the average smartphone contains thousands of patents relating to software, hardware, messaging, connectivity and more.

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