I originally got wind of this over at Slashdot. The article over at The Wall Street Journal is well worth a read as well but take it with a few grains of salt.

The Company Intellectual Ventures LLC has filed suit against several major tech companies for patent violations.

“… on Wednesday, Mr. Myhrvold’s firm, unable to secure payments from nine companies, announced three patent-infringement suits. One suit names the best-known players in security software—Symantec Corp., McAfee Inc., Trend Micro Inc. and Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.”

Source

Now, if one is not informed, it may seem they are protecting the interest of patent holders. That is where my like for the WSJ article ends. The logic and purpose of Intellectual Ventures is not much better off than that of the RIAA. This is not protecting patent holders, this is profiting for patent hoarders!

Intellectual Ventures LLC does not have any actual product. Unless, you consider lawsuits a product. They exist because investors gave them money to buy patents. They hoard them and brain storm on how to profit from them.

Nathan Myhrvold has been around for a good while. He used to work for Microsoft. According to this Cnet article, he was referred to him as “the man Bill Gates put in charge of the future,”. He is a master of PR.

I think I first heard of him about the time I discovered TechDirt in 2002. Mike Masnick has been following this story for years. In my opinion, I think IV is run by a snake oil salesman. Mike Masnick seems to have a more open minded and realistic assessment of this “Invention Factory“.

Mr. Masnick also called it for what it really is a long time ago. The same author also correctly, in my opinion, called it a bait and switch. I am not going to restate everything written over at TechDirt on this topic.

Mike Masnick has posted many an article on this IV company. I would encourage you to check out the site and search on the topic. In my opinion, his thoughts on it are more correct than the slant the main stream press prints on this battle of intellectual property. It is not a battle for protection, it is a battle for profit.

IV, in the past, stated that they would never litigate over patents, then they tried to collect “lisence fees”, then they got more cash and hoarded more patents and now? Big suprize eh?