Myhrvold has always maintained that his company fosters advancement, citing a lab, which has never actually made anything, and asserting that its patents actually have merit.
An appeals court has disagreed observing that simply adding, "Do it on a computer," to an existing process does not make it a unique and patentable invention:
Intellectual Ventures boasts of having more than 30,000 patents—but you'd have to look for a long time to find one that can hold up under real scrutiny.While we are at it, we should also fire the US Patent Court (technically the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit) into the sun, which has expanded IP well beyond what is necessary to foster creativity.
After staying quiescent for years, IV opened up a barrage of lawsuits to enforce its patents in 2010. But the companies that decided to stand up to IV rather than buckle under have been faring well, as judges have found the patents that IV has chosen to enforce in court less than impressive. It's a telling sign about the giant patent-holder's collection. Given the opportunity to pull just about any patent out of its huge collection, one would assume the company would choose the best of the lot. But much of it appears to be exactly the kind of easy handouts from the dot-com boom era that have been called out by critics of "patent trolls."
Earlier this week, Intellectual Ventures lost two more major patent cases at the nation's top patent court. It lost a case against Erie Indemnity Company and several other insurers, which had stood accused of infringing US Patent Nos. 6,510,434, 6,519,581, and 6,546,002. The same judges also tossed patents asserted against banking company Capital One. All were found invalid under the Supreme Court's Alice Corp. precedent, which barred many patents that describe basic business processes and add computer jargon.
This sh%$ is out of control, and while some rent seeking is acceptable to encourage creativity, this is just parasitic.