February 17, 2010

Investment Firm Hopes to Turn Patents Into Invention Capital Market

Investment Firm Hopes to Turn Patents Into Invention Capital Market:
"In the article and in conversation, Mr. Myhrvold describes the patent world as a vastly underdeveloped market, starved for private capital and too dependent on federal financing for universities and government agencies, which is mainly aimed at scientific discovery anyway. Eventually, he foresees patents being valued as a separate asset class, like real estate or securities.

His antagonists, he says, are the “cozy oligarchy” of big technology companies like I.B.M., Hewlett-Packard and others that typically reach cross-licensing agreements with each other, and then refuse to deal with or acknowledge the work of inventors or smaller companies.

Ignoring the patents of others is “deeply ingrained in parts of certain industries,” he writes in the article, “most notably software, computing and other Internet-related sectors.”

Large technology companies complain about patent suits but, Mr. Myhrvold says, their actions often invite litigation. “The attitude of the big guys has been that unless you sue me or threaten to sue me, get lost,” he said in the interview. “I know, I was one of those guys.” Indeed, Mr. Myhrvold, 50, supplied his considerable brain power to Microsoft for 13 years, serving as chief technology officer until 2000."

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