Tech Giants Join Forces Against 'Patent Trolls'

Fear of lawsuits behind group effort to snap up intellectual property
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2008 11:45 AM CDT
"It isn't the intent of the companies to make money on the transactions," an executive said of the tech alliance intent on buying up patents.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Some of tech's biggest players are banding together to corner the market on patents key to their various businesses, the Wall Street Journal reports. Companies like Google and Verizon are afraid of being held hostage by small players with a claim on key bits of intellectual property, and wary of so-called "patent trolls," outfits that buy intellectual property solely to launch lawsuits.

Allied Security Trust, whose members also include Hewlett-Packard and Ericsson, says it doesn't aim to get into the lawsuit business. “It will never be an enforcement vehicle,” the group’s chief executive said. Instead, patents will be sold following purchase—though only after granting members non-exclusive licenses—which should keep the group free of antitrust worries. (Read more patent infringment stories.)