by Dennis Crouch
On Friday, Greg Gorder led a great discussion here at the University of Missouri School of Law as part of our symposium on Resolving IP Disputes. Gorder is a co-founder of the patent-law giant Intellectual Ventures. The focus of Gorder's talk was on incremental invention and the "invention gap" associated with most products on the market. Intellectual Ventures basically defines this invention gap as the number of patents that a company is infringing when it makes or sells its products. The key figure that I walked away with was 80,000. Intellectual Ventures now owns over 80,000 patents and pending patent applications.
Later this week we should have video of the conference available for viewing.
While Mr. Gorder was speaking here at Mizzou, his company attorneys were busy filing a host of patent infringement lawsuits against the mobile carrier industry, including AT&T, Leap Wireless, Nextel, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. The patents in suit include U.S. Patent Nos. 6,640,248; 5,602,831; 6,023,783; 6,952,408; 6,370,153; 5,963,557; 8,310,993; 7,269,127; 7,848,353; 8,396,079; and 7,787,431. In typical aggregator form, the patents come from a diverse array of sources including Malibu Networks (a failed company with "promising technology" that "entered the market about two years too early"); Seiko (an ongoing company that wanted to monetize its invention surplus); California Institute of Technology (a large non-practicing entity); AirNet Communications; John Eng; IPWireless; Georgia Tech; and Neocific.