Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Is there a market route to anti-troll protection?

Infoworld carries a post on how membership-based patent aggregator RPX is positioning itself as an effective weapon against "nefarious non-practicing entities", by which it means patent trolls. Characterised as a "defensive patent aggregator" RPX's primary goal is said to be the protection of companies from litigation against a product or service that is already in the market. Ideally, the patents will also cover products and services offered by multiple companies. The idea is that:
"Once RPX gains ownership of a patent, it takes the patent off the market, thereby reducing an existing product's susceptibility to patent trolls. RPX also allows member companies to license the patents RPX owns. As part of the contractual agreement between RPX and members, a provision states that RPX will not assert or litigate patents it acquires".
Focused almost exclusively in the IT field, including software, e-commerce, mobile communications, networking, and consumer electronics devices, RPX seeks initially to buy $100 million in patents each year, raising the cash through membership fees (US$35,000 to US$5 million, depending on the size of the company).

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