Google might buy your patents to counter trolls

The idea is to attract sellers who might sell their intellectual property to patent trolls

Google might buy your patents to keep them out of the hands of litigious patent trolls that critics contend are hampering innovation.

For a two-week period next month, Google will accept submissions from patent owners and possibly bid on the patents as part of its Patent Purchase Promotion, wrote Allen Lo, the company's deputy general counsel for patents.

The idea is to keep some patents out of the hands of so-called patent trolls, or companies that use patent licensing and lawsuits as their primary source of revenue.

"Unfortunately, the usual patent marketplace can sometimes be challenging, especially for smaller participants who sometimes end up working with patent trolls," Lo wrote. "Then bad things happen, like lawsuits, lots of wasted effort, and generally bad karma. Rarely does this provide any meaningful benefit to the original patent owner."

Google is building a portal to accept submissions, which will be taken from May 8 through 22. The company plans to evaluate the offers quickly and get back to patent owners by June 26. Payouts should happen by the end of August, it said.

To keep the program simple, Google is only accepting one patent per submission and not allowing inventors to sell a family of patents, according to its guidelines. The program also only applies to U.S. patents.

Google also isn't sure how much it will spend on the program, writing that "it will really be a function of how much interest we receive and the type of patents that are submitted." Purchased patents will be used by Google and possibly licensed by the company to others.

Presumably, that will mean Google won't try to extract high fees for licenses and threaten legal action, which patent trolls are frequently accused of doing.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googlelegalintellectual propertypatent

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?