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Tech patent hoarder Intellectual Ventures to lose a fifth of its trolls

Layoffs hit licensing powerhouse

Troll in cross hairs

Notorious patent troll license enforcer Intellectual Ventures has fallen on hard times, it seems, with Bloomberg reporting mass layoffs at the company.

According to this report, 20 per cent of the company's 700 staff will be looking for other non-practising entities to work for.

That would mean between 130 and 140 of the Intellectual Ventures staff getting pink-slipped.

Bloomberg speculates that IV is in the process of reinventing itself as some kind of startup factory, but notes that the company has also run into resistance in Silicon Vally, with original backers like Google, Oracle and HP resisting its later capital-raising approaches.

Google was later the target of an IV lawsuit which earlier this year ended in a mistrial.

The wire also says the company said the staff-heavy model it needed when it was busily acquiring the tens of thousands of patents it now holds has changed. It has now automated a lot of its analysis processes, Edward Jung (co-founder with ex-Microsoftie Nathan Myhrvold) said, and doesn't need as many paper-shufflers.

Earlier in 2014, Intel and Apple joined the ranks of the refuseniks and declined to participate in a fundraising vehicle, according to Reuters.

In 2012, Stanford University researchers studied IV's practises, noting that if its approaches to license patents were rebuffed, the company would often re-license the patents to more aggressive third parties who would return with lawsuits and bigger damages demands. ®

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