Intellectual Ventures Uses Over 1,000 Shell Companies to Hide Patent Shakedowns


The NY Times is now running yet another profile (they do this every two years or so) of Myhrvold and Intellectual Ventures that covers the usual bogus claims by Myhrvold about how he’s creating “invention capital,” with very little skepticism. However, it does reveal one interesting tidbit that we had missed. Last year, a research firm released a report highlighting that Intellectual Ventures has up to 1,110 shell companies, with which it can hide its activities. No wonder IV can pretend it doesn’t sue anyone. It can simply hide behind its shell companies.

I like how the Times story (by Steve Lohr) starts the second paragraph like this:

Admirers of Mr. Myhrvold, the scientist who led Microsoft’s technology development in the 1990s, see an innovator seeking to elevate the economic role and financial rewards for inventors whose patented ideas are often used without compensation by big technology companies.

But then never goes on to actually name any of these “admirers of Mr. Myhrvold”. Who admires this guy?

Thursday, 18 February 2010