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HTC inks patent pact with Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures

AKA Intellectual Vultures

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Mobile handset manufacturer and Google pal HTC has announced a licensing deal that gives it access to the more than 30,000 patents owned by Intellectual Ventures (IV), the IP-gathering outfit founded by former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold.

A joint press release from HTC and IV says that HTC will use the portfolio to "defend itself and its subsidiaries from potential litigation."

Last week, Intellectual Ventures announced a similarly sweeping pact with Samsung.

According to The New York Times, Myhrvold's detractors refer to his Bellevue-based outfit as "Intellectual Vultures," accusing the company of collecting IP assets in order to force large sums of money from other companies with the (implied) threat of litigation. But Myhrvold says he's only doing good, creating something he calls "invention capital."

"What we’re really trying to do is create a capital market for inventions akin to the venture capital market that supports start-ups and the private equity market that revitalizes inefficient companies," Myhrvold wrote in a recent Harvard Business Review piece. "Our goal is to make applied research a profitable activity that attracts vastly more private investment than it does today so that the number of inventions generated soars."

Earlier this year, HTC was sued by Apple for alleged patent infringement. The Taiwan-based manufacturer is Google's closest Android ally. It was the manufacturer of the first Android phone and later of the Google-branded Nexus One. ®

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