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Were William and Orville Wright the first patent trolls? Check out my piece today for evidence on that — and for evidence that major tech companies are funding companies typically known as “patent trolls.”.
What tech companies invest in so-called patent trolls — or, more politely, Patent Assertion Entities? Part One of my investigative series on this actually ran at Computerworld today, my old colleague Scot Finnie’s tech mag.
The article is here. A list of investors into one giant PAE called Intellectual Ventures is below — all the context is in the piece — and this list is by no means comprehensive. According to court filings, tech companies are putting tens of millions into those firms.
Why would a tech company invest in such a company? Experts say: Protection. Access.
Renowned attorney Tom Ewing spent the last four years digging into the matter and the story is … enlightening. Below is according to court doc — tech investors into one of the largest firms that collects patents and litigates around them, called Intellectual Ventures. Read the whole article for the real skinny.
Adobe Systems Inc.
Cisco Systems Inc.
Intellectual Ventures I, II
Nvidia International Holdings, Inc.
SAP America Inc.
Verizon Corporate Services Group, Inc.
Source: Document filed on May 16, 2011: Xilinx vs Intellectual Ventures Investment Fund I, L.P. et al (PDF)