IV Insights Blog

Posts tagged: Shell Companies

Intellectual Ventures Comments on This American Life story

In response to This American Life’s updated story, “When Patents Attack Part 2,” Intellectual Ventures would like to set the record straight particularly with regard to some of the misinformation and speculation the story included about our company.   In addition to referring you to our original statement about the first story they did about our company in 2011, we’d like to offer the following facts. We also encourage you to read the statement we provided This American Life last month when they asked us to comment on their updated piece. We’ve included it at the end of this post.

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The Red Herring of Transparency

The IP industry narrative has taken a curious turn in the last few weeks, shifting away from flaws in the system itself and focusing instead on the “transparency” of those who participate in it. It’s a story that has cropped up now and again in blogs and legal journals, but last week it broke out of the echo chamber and into a speech by outgoing USPTO Director David Kappos. While Director Kappos didn’t mention IV, others have. A recent op-ed in the legal journal Law360 asserted that, “Intellectual Ventures has allegedly established more than 1,000 shell companies to hide patent assets, gain the upper hand in licensing negotiations, and sue companies anonymously.”

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Disruption Invites Controversy

By definition, a disruptive innovation is a product or technology that, when introduced, either radically changes existing markets or creates wholly new ones, thereby disrupting companies and networks reliant on the status quo. In simpler terms, it signifies rapid and unexpected progress…a change in context. Intellectual Ventures is a disruptive organization, and like any other product or service which disrupts established markets, we’ve invited our share of controversy. We appreciate that patents are an emotionally charged issue that generates a lot of conversation and varying points of view, but we want to take a moment to provide our perspective on a recent characterization.

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