Well, what are we supposed to think now? RPX Corporation — what some claim is the 'anti-patent troll' — has filed with the Securities and Exchange commission for what the company appears to hope is a $100M Initial Public Offering (see RPX's Form S1 here). The privately held, self-proclaimed 'defensive patent aggregator' corporation was founded by two ex-Intellectual Ventures executives and claims to have a 'very different' business model than IV (which, until recently filing its first barrage of patent lawsuits, IV had been suspected, without actual evidence of, being a gestating 'non-practicing entity' (aka Patent Troll) (see earlier post here)). Yet, for the casual observer, both appear to be in similar businesses: they both buy (or think up themselves) patents or patentable inventions, but do not actually produce anything. They both have 'paying customers' or participate in a voluntary patent-pool type arrangements whereby, in essence, their clients seek to insulate themselves from patent lawsuits or other liability by paying IV or RPX and seeking in return the ability to either use the licensed patents in defense of offensive lawsuits by (other) patent trolls, or have the benefit of potentially problematic patents bought by the pool, thereby taken off the 'going-to-be-used-by-a-patent-troll-to-sue-big-company' market. I'm broad-bushing a lot of nuances both entities claim to engage in, no doubt. But that's the gist. Both companies are highly and publicly controversial, as it is unclear to most whether either company (and their potentially variant models) — and what amounts to the creation of an active, private market for patent rights which arguably coerces participation to avoid being on the wrong end of a patent lawsuit — provides a benefit, detriment, or necessary, if distasteful, solution to the real, if not unfortunate, problem of patent trolls and other patent lawsuits. Read more at TechCrunch and Daily Finance What do people think about this? Good, bad, interesting, indifferent?….
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