Feeds

Intel joins troll-blocking club

Patent pals with MS, IBM, Cisco

The Power of One Infographic

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
Price cuts, new features coming for Office 365 small biz customers
New plans for companies with up to 300 staff to launch in fall
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.