August 11, 2011

Intellectual property: #Patents against prosperity

This is apparently a patent on streaming music over the internet. Naturally, you are familiar with #PacketVideo 's popular music streaming service. Oh, you're not? I guess that's because they don't offer one. So, #Spotify is trying to make money offering a service that will make consumers happy. (I'm using it right now. I think it's terrific.) PacketVideo is trying to make money doing what? Shaking down Spotify?

Here's where Mr Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures comes in. Intellectual Ventures owns a huge portfolio of patents. Quite possibly they also have some sort of patent that covers streaming music over the internet. Intellectual Ventures makes money through a sort of protection racket that helps Spotify defend themselves against companies like PacketVideo. For a considerable fee, a company can access Intellectual Venture's storehouse of patents and use them defensively against companies claiming patent infringement.

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