AN ARMY OF tech companies have joined forces to back a new system designed to keep the patent trolls at bay.
The Open Register of Patent Ownership (ORoPO) has been backed by key partners including IBM, Microsoft, ARM, BAE Systems, Shazam, Patent Properties, Conversant and Finjan.
ORoPO is voluntary and not for profit, and founder members' patents are already available online.
The idea is to put the information currently stored in the world's 180 patent offices in a central repository to avoid duplication, omission and inaccuracy, all of which can be pounced on by trolls.
Manny Schecter, chief patent counsel at IBM, said: "ORoPO is a simple solution to a complex and long-standing problem.
"Greater transparency around patent ownership is vital to eliminating transactional inefficiencies and enabling a patent system that runs optimally for every constituent in the system, from patent owners to innovators, licensees and the public."
"Microsoft believes that patent ownership transparency continues to be an important part of a well-functioning patent system," added Erich Andersen, vice president and deputy general counsel at Microsoft.
"Microsoft has publicly listed all the patents the company owns since March 2013, and we will continue to do so via our participation in ORoPO.
"This voluntary effort, led by top patenting companies, will help to ensure that the patent system continues to promote and encourage innovation across our economy."
ORoPO estimates that 25 percent of information held in patent offices is inaccurate, which is even more horrifying against the backdrop of intellectual property forming 70 percent of enterprise value.
ORoPO is to be led by Roger Burt as CEO with an advisory board consisting of key people from the technology and legal sectors.
The US Supreme Court acknowledged 'patent troll' as a valid term for the first time last month in a case investigating whether 'good faith' was an adequate defence in cases where a patent is assumed invalid.
Patent and intellectual property fights have been a mainstay of the IT industry, and the tussles between Apple and Samsung have taken centre stage.
A peace accord seems to have been reached, but many existing cases are still sub judice. µ
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