GOOGLE HAS ANNOUNCED an experimental marketplace called the Patent Purchase Promotion in a bid to combat patent trolls.
The Patent Purchase Promotion will allow Google to buy intellectual property from patent owners and keep them out of the hands of patent trolls and businesses that use patent licensing and lawsuits as their primary source of income.
Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google, said: "Patent owners sell patents for numerous reasons (such as the need to raise money or changes in a company’s business direction).
"Unfortunately, the usual patent marketplace can sometimes be challenging, especially for smaller participants who sometimes end up working with patent trolls.
"Then bad things happen, like lawsuits, lots of wasted effort, and generally bad karma. Rarely does this provide any meaningful benefit to the original patent owner.
"So, today we're announcing the Patent Purchase Promotion as an experiment to remove friction from the patent market.
"Hopefully this will translate into better experiences for sellers, and remove the complications of working with entities such as patent trolls."
Of course, Google has another motive as the move will help the company to gain a heap of patents which could be useful in future litigation.
The window for submitting patents for sale runs for two weeks from 8 May to 22 May. Once Google has ended the promotion, the firm will let patent holders know by 26 June whether it's interested in doing a deal.
If Google decides to acquire a patent and enters into an agreement with the patent owner, it will make payment by late August.
This isn't the only move Google has made to scupper so-called patent trolls. The company formed the Licence On Transfer Network group last year in partnership with Dropbox, SAP and Canon.
Under the agreement, members remain in control of their patents but agree to offer a royalty-free licence to fellow members in the event that a patent is sold. µ
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