…Companies Band Together as the Allied Security Trust to Buy IP Before Any Trolls Can Take Them To Court
By: Maureen O’Gara
Jul. 9, 2008 02:45 AM
“Verizon, Google, Cisco, HP, Motorola, Sun, Telefon AB and Ericsson have banded together as the Allied Security Trust to buy IP before any trolls can take them to court.
They’ve paid $250k to join and are each kicking it about $5 million in funding. They will then get non-exclusive licenses to the acquired technology and afterwards sell it on. The non-profit calls the concept “catch and release.” It currently has 11 members and is expecting 30-40.
It swears it won’t assert any of the acquired patents.
According to the new non-profit, It costs operating companies an average of $3.2 million through the end of discovery and $5.2 million through trial to defend infringement cases when there is more than $25 million at stake. It says “even a small claim is highly disruptive and requires significant time and legal costs to defend.”
It says companies often settle for a smaller amount than whatever is sought, even when the company knows that it would eventually win. “These lawsuits are not only a huge distraction for management, but they also draw R&D and other resources away from other projects.”
The place is being run by former IBM VP of IP and licensing Brian Hinman.”