Earlier this week, Google announced the formal launch of a new patent marketplace.
“The usual patent marketplace can sometimes be challenging, especially for smaller participants who sometimes end up working with patent trolls,” said Google patent deputy counsel Allen Lo, as quoted in the Daily Mail.
The program, known as the Patent Purchase Promotion, offers a potential solution to this challenging marketplace environment. It serves as an “experiment to remove friction from the patent market,” enabling patent holders interested in selling parts of their IP portfolio to sell directly to Google rather than considering offers from patent trolls. Google hopes the program will discourage sales to patent trolls and subsequently reduce associated litigation caused by their poor behavior in the industry. Following the transaction, sellers will also retain a license to their patent.
“By simplifying the process and having a concentrated submission window, we can focus our efforts into quickly evaluating patent assets and getting responses back to potential sellers quickly,” Google explained in the recent blog post announcement. “Hopefully this will translate into better experiences for sellers, and remove the complications of working with entities such as patent trolls.”
While some are praising Google for its efforts in transparency, others seem more skeptical. In a recent article, The Register wondered what limitations were set in place “to stop Google itself [from] turning into a troll and blitzing rivals with its brimming legal arsenal.”
However, as TechCrunch points out, the program “is essentially Google’s bid to get its hands on valuable assets before they ended up in the hands of patent trolls who leverage their own portfolios of patents to generate revenue for their business – at the cost of others in the industry.”
Patent holders interested in pursuing the program have from May 8th to May 22nd to submit their patents for review by the Google team, which will then contact all interested parties with its purchase decisions by June 26th. The Patent Purchase Promotion is currently limited to US patent holders and transactions, but may expand internationally at a later date. Further details and a more in-depth breakdown of the program can be found here.