Feeds

Intel joins troll-blocking club

Patent pals with MS, IBM, Cisco

The next step in data security

Intel is diving into a patent pool in hopes of avoiding future troll attacks.

The chip maker has signed on with RPX, a patent aggregation startup whose members pay steep annual fees to help shield themselves from royalty demands and litigation costs of patent trolls.

Palm and four small software security firms also signed on to the service, bringing RPX's total membership to 35. Launched roughly 15 months ago, the patent pool's ranks include tech giants Cisco, Microsoft, IBM, HP, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Sony, Nokia, HTC, and Samsung.

RPX's approach doesn't guarantee troll protection. The organization uses its money to fight fire with fire - at least theoretically. The company buys up technology patents that could be used against its clients by nonpracticing entities - companies who don't create products, but rather rack up earnings by forcing others into licensing fees or from damages awarded in patent infringement lawsuits.

The firm acquires patents and provides the rights to its clients. Members pay annual fees ranging from $35,000 to $4.9m, depending on the company's size. RPX argues that membership cost is often less than mounting a defense against even a single patent assertion.

RPX claims to have invested over $200m to acquire more than 1,300 patents and patent rights in markets such as mobile, internet search, networking, telecommunications, consumer electronics, and e-commerce.

The startup was founded by a former executive of Intellectual Ventures, a high profile patent-hoarder started in 2000 by executives from Intel and Microsoft.

It's still unclear exactly how realistic RXP's approach is for protecting against litigation. After all, one firm can't buy every patent that could be used against its clients in the future. But the idea does appear to be catching on with the tech industry. Other patent middlemen that have formed around the idea include Allied Security Trust and open-source and Linux patent purchaser, the Open Invention Network. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.