The success of “patent trolls” has been the root of a new anti-patent troll model implemented to defeat the patent troll movement and instill value in precious IP. RPX, a San Francisco-based start-up, is a “defensive IP aggregator“. It is a firm that buys up free-market patents in an effort to safeguard tech companies from expensive patent lawsuits. The firm sells memberships to companies based on the company’s operating income, and then turns around and buys patents on the market that relate, or could potentially relate, to the company’s operations. This effectively keeps patent trolls from buying these patents and suing the company for patent infringement. According to a November 14, 2008, article in the Wall Street Journal, companies such as IBM and Cisco Systems have already bought into RPX’s business plan and signed on as member investors. Although indirectly, this model provides another opportunity for companies to monetize their IP. Instead of spending incredible sums of money on patent lawsuits or settlements, companies can now use these resources to license and enforce their own IP portfolios. Furthermore, such “defensive IP aggregation” may prolong the time at which a company’s core IP is superseded by new innovations held by competitors, extending its worth and raising its present value.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 26th, 2009 at 6:37 am.
Categories: Monetizing IP, Patent Prospects, Portfolio Potential ~ by Ian McClure.

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