Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

Does Your Business Card Say “Inventor”?

Posted in General Commentary, Science and Technology by Jake Ward on June 26, 2007


We’ve recently come across a few articles relating to a company called Intellectual Ventures, which we found interesting.  Intellectual Ventures is a self-proclaimed “invention company” located in Bellevue, Washington.  The company was founded by ex-Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold in 2000 with the goal to nurture fundamental innovation and invention. 

According to this BusinessWeek article and this Wikipedia entry,  the company both purchases patents (giving rise to some disparaging “troll” name-calling) and develops technology in-house, sometimes through the use of brainstorming sessions with the nation’s best and brightest scientists and engineers (with IP counsel at the ready for identifying potential patents).  Intellectual Ventures has apparently bankrolled about 44 different inventors thusfar, is building an “invention lab,” and has been applying for about 450 patents per year.  Although it has yet to have a commercial hit (the company is not interested in manufacturing, but in licensing of the technology), Intellectual Ventures apparently sees itself as filling a void in the market for pure invention, with signficant long-term potential for profitability.

See also this video article at CNN about Intellectual Ventures.  An interesting bit if you have a few minutes to spare.