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This article was published on April 27, 2015

Google’s patent marketplace is part troll slayer, part greedy monster

Google’s patent marketplace is part troll slayer, part greedy monster
Mic Wright
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Mic Wright

Reporter, TNW

Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy. Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy.

Google has announced a new experimental patent buying service. It’s soliciting proposals from companies and individuals who want to sell their patents.

One reason for the scheme, which the company is calling the Patent Purchase Promotion, is to outflank trolls who swoop in to grab intellectual property from inventors and small outfits who find the process challenging.

Of course, the unspoken reason is that gaining a big batch of new patents could be very helpful to Google in the future, when more litigation rolls around.

The window for submitting patents for sale will begin on May 8 and end on May 22, meaning interested parties only have a short time to get involved.

Once Google’s closed the portal, it’ll review submissions and let patent holders know if it’s interested in doing a deal by June 26 2015.

The company predicts that it’ll be able to complete the process of buying up patents, after due diligence, by late August.

Google’s keeping its options open by defining the Patent Purchase Promotion as “an experiment” and cheekily notes in its blog post that we should see it as “a 20 percent project for [its] patent lawyers.”

➤ Announcing the Patent Purchase Promotion [Google Policy Blog]

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