The issue of patent trolls buying up patents and using them not to actually manufacture helpful new inventions, but to make a quick buck in court is an increasingly bothersome one, as evidenced by the introduction of proposed legislation such as the Innovation Reform Act of 2015. Now, Google, arguably the nation's most prominent internet technology behemoth with 70 offices in more than 40 countries, wants to join the fight against patent trolls.
The California-based multinational tech company recently unveiled its Patent Purchase Promotion, a new marketplace wherein patent holders can tell Google about any patents that they're willing to sell and at what price. The marketplace will be open from May 8-22 and submitters will be notified as to whether Google is interested in buying their patents by June 26. Payouts will begin shortly thereafter - most by late August
"Unfortunately, the usual patent marketplace can sometimes be challenging, especially for smaller participants who sometimes end up working with patent trolls," wrote Allen Lo, Google's deputy general counsel for patents, in a blog post announcing the program. "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."
While the move may seem a magnanimous one, many believe it may simply be a chance to do a little market research, mining hopeful patent holders about just what patents are out there and what holders believe they're worth. After all, the company is tight-lipped about how much it will reveal about the results of the marketplace or its intentions for the patents it acquires.
If you hold a patent that you're interested in selling, understand that Google's promotion may prove a seller-beware situation. Before sharing information about the commercial value of your patent, or making or accepting a purchase or licensing deal, make sure you have an experienced patent attorney representing you. Call Daniel Law Offices at 866-37PATENT to schedule a consultation in the firm's Orlando or Tampa locations.