I was just reading the “Secretive IP Holder Funds Tech Acquisition” article where it mentions that Intellectual Ventures (IV) had a stake in the recent purchase of the Transmeta assets. My opinion about their interest is below.
First of all, and this is off the top of my head, there are those who claimed that Transmeta Corp. was a troll in that their goal was to patent around Intel’s patents. Obviously I have no backup for this other than word of mouth. However, when Transmets did sue Intel, Intel settled because the Transmeta claims did read on products Intel created and was in the process of creating.
Thus, IV purchasing Transmeta’s many patent assets would be nothing more than one IP holding company purchasing the assets of an IP holding company. I suppose it all relates to intent. So far, their intent appears to be to acquire assets and assert them against companies who are infringing their patents to force them to take a license on those patents. I don’t have anything wrong with this because IV rightfully purchased those assets, and as patents currently stand, they are PROPERTY which is transferrable. (Whether I believe the right to assert should belong to big companies or to the inventor is a different topic.)
But in sum, Intellectual Ventures is doing nothing wrong by purchasing Transmeta’s assets. All you can hope for is that IV will use them in a more productive and “friendlier” way than Transmeta has.
Remember, the goal in patent law should always be “to promote innovation” rather than to promote corporate profits.