Patent holding firm Intellectual Ventures has bared its teeth for the first time, filing patent infringement lawsuits against nine technology firms in the US yesterday.
The firm filed three separate suits covering DRAM and Flash memory, and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) patents, against firms including Symantec, McAfee, Hynix Semiconductor, and Altera.
Melissa Finocchio, Intellectual Ventures’ chief litigation counsel, said the firm acted to protect “our invention rights,” after failing to agree licensing deals with the companies.
The lawsuits are “the right choice for our investors, inventors and current licensees,” she added.
It is the first time Intellectual Ventures, which was founded by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold a decade ago, has resorted to legal action, WSJ.com noted.
The firm, which has bought up around 30,000 of technology patents during that time, typically errs towards agreeing licensing deals with companies – a strategy that has earned it $2 billion (€1.5 billion) so far, the news site said.
Microsoft launched a bid to overhaul the way US patent laws are handled by county courts late last month, amid a growing number of patent disputes in the country.
The firm’s call for a review of the methods used to establish patent validity was backed by Apple, Google and General Motors, and could make it easier for companies to challenge patent ownership.