Michael Kanellos at CNET has this rather odd story:
Intellectual Ventures, a start-up specializing in intellectual property, has proclaimed its dedication to inventing new technologies.
And it has amassed quite a large patent portfolio, as well.
The company, founded by former Microsoft scientists Nathan Myhrvold and Edward Jung, has acquired thousands of patents in the past few years, according to sources close to the company. Some sources have further narrowed the figure to between 3,000 and 5,000 patents.
Many were bought from companies still in business, such as Ramtron International. Others came from inventors with expired patents or from listing companies such as General Magic.
The big question is exactly what they are going to do with them and the article explores various theories. One:
Conceivably, the acquired patents could also be exploited to prevent litigation. The company’s investors include Microsoft, Intel and others, according to sources, and those investors have licenses to all of Intellectual Ventures’ intellectual property.