What do you get a company that within its first two years has experienced unprecedented success and growth? The tradition of paper just doesn't seem sufficient. Don’t take our word for it. Check out some of the announcements and media coverage from the past two years.
As a longtime supporter of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, we were pleased to play host recently to a group of Pacific Science Center (PSC) Discovery Corps students. Discovery Corps’ goal is to inspire young people with a lifelong interest in science, math and technology. To learn what it takes to work on the forefront of invention, we invited the students to tour IV’s Lab and visit with our president, COO and PSC board member, Adriane Brown.
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Just like Marvel Comic’s heroes, inventors venture into unexplored territory, overcome obstacles, and improve the world around them. Tinkering away in their invention lairs, inventors make the real-life gadgets that crack codes and save the world. They have the brainpower to solve complex problems that ordinary citizens can’t match. And like our most beloved superheroes, inventors inspire us to strive for ingenuity and pursue our dreams.
Inventor Superhero: Claude Elwood Shannon (1916-2001)
Superpowers: Mathematics, cryptography, card tricks, unicycling, jugglingRead the full story »
Inventions come in all forms and sizes: microscopic robots that break apart clots in a blood vessel, space shuttles, and agricultural processes. At Intellectual Ventures, we pay homage to many of them. Our hallways are lined with inventions — we have antique typewriters and fire hose nozzles, the evolution of the mouse trap in patent drawings, and a cipher machine. But what’s a dinosaur bust doing in our invention collection?
Talk to anyone who’s visited our office, and they’ll reference the collection showstopper: a synthetic Tyrannosaurus rex head with an eerily familiar face — it’s one of the T. rex models used in the movie Jurassic Park.
IV’s founder and CEO Nathan Myhrvold is the ultimate dinosaur hobbyist — he’s published paleontology research findings, funded fossil excavations, and been on set at Jurassic Park filmings. But the T.rex is more than a memento; it's a symbol of robotic innovation.Read the full story »
In a letter this week to lawmakers in Congress, the founders of Intellectual Ventures strongly endorsed legislation that would penalize those who threaten law-abiding businesses with frivolous and often fraudulent “demand letters” that allege patent infringement.
“Specious demand letters targeting America’s small businesses are not a naturally occurring feature of a well-functioning marketplace for invention,” wrote IV’s founders and president in support of the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters Act, a bill authored by Rep. Lee Terry, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.Read the full story »
If you ever visit Intellectual Ventures’ offices, you’ll notice that a few interesting inventions make their homes in our hallways. One of these looks like a typical typewriter — in fact, you would likely pass by it without a second glance, if you noticed it at all.
But beneath its unexceptional appearance lies a technology that is anything but ordinary. This is an example of a T-52 cipher machine.
No, we’re not talking about the villain from the Matrix movies. A cipher, more or less, is an algorithm used to encrypt a message. In order to fully appreciate the T-52, let’s take a journey through the evolution of this invention.Read the full story »
Thomas Edison said that genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. Anyone who’s tried to transform an idea into a product knows that ratio holds true for invention. While innovation may begin as a flash of genius, it takes hard work to move from idea to proof of concept to working product, and there are moments of both failing and rejoicing along the way.
At work in the Intellectual Ventures electronics lab.
Whether you’re a lone inventor or working at an innovative company, you can find encouragement and support in the inventor community and those who’ve survived the journey from Eureka! moment to finished product.
To fuel your innovation inspiration, heed a few words of wisdom from inventors past and present.Read the full story »
On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 reached the moon. 45 years ago, man took his first steps there. Today we’re reminded of how fast technology can develop in the right environment and the distance that invention can take us when inventors, investors, big and small companies, governments, universities and communities work together.
“The Apollo space program created a $25 billion (more than $150B in today’s dollars!) innovation economy and put a man on the moon in less than a decade — thanks to the cooperation of government and industry, the individual and the team.”
To give this accomplishment more context, travel back with us seven years before 1969 to 1962, when President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech at Rice University in Houston, TX.Read the full story »
We combed the IV Insights blog archive for the most read posts. From IP strategy to geek masterminds, take a look at a few reader favorites that you won’t want to miss.
The Next Age of Invention
The “lone genius” model of invention has a problem with scale. How will we solve long-term, large-scale problems? Here’s IV Founder and CTO Edward Jung on the importance of cooperation.
5 Inconvenient Truths About Patent Reform
If you listen to a rising banter of critics, you might think that patents are killing innovation. Here’s another perspective from the man who coined the term “patent troll.”
Inventions to Startups: Coffee Flour is off to the Races
Can good IP strategy spur new business? Learn how Intellectual Ventures Invention Development Fund used an IP portfolio to helped launch startup company CF Global.
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 rails against software patents. Are you among them?
10 Must Reads for Inventors
Curious about invention? Check out the list of IV’s must-reads among the inventor community.
Which Geek Mastermind Are You?
Are you more like Einstein or Tesla? Just for fun, take a quick quiz to find out which inventor you share a wavelength with.
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Love the term or hate it, there’s no doubt disruptors challenge the status quo. “Because it’s always been done that way,” is not in their vocabulary. They’re risk-takers and change advocates who are unafraid of the controversy and resistance stirred up by their ideas.
Being a disruptor sure can come with its fair share of misinterpretation as well. Nathan Myhrvold, our cofounder and CEO, has said, “You can’t do anything significant in life if you’re not willing to be misunderstood for some period of time.” This requires courage and a strong belief in your mission – a willingness to step into a different territory and to create something new.Read the full story »