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Demystifying Intellectual Ventures' Patent Holdings

Back in September, we partnered with patent analytics firm IP Checkups to discuss patent strategies for startups, universities and SMEs.

Now, IP Checkups is back with a new project geared towards the SME community: "Case IV Thicket."

Case IV Thicket is an Indiegogo crowdfunded project to publish the entire patent portfolio of well-known patent aggregator Intellectual Ventures (IV). While IV has reportedly amassed one of the world's largest patent portfolios with more than 30,000 assets, searching for patents assigned to the company in patent databases reveals only a few hundred. IV allegedly uses 1000+ shell companies to hide patent assets, gain the upper hand in licensing negotiations, and sue companies anonymously.

By publishing Intellectual Ventures' portfolio and documenting the entire process, IP Checkups hopes to raise public awareness about IV's patent holdings, and the holdings of non-practicing entities in general. This information is especially useful for SMEs, which often do not have the resources to hire patent attorneys to make sense of patent ownership and patent risks in their technology space.

IP Checkups hopes to raise $80,000 by November 28th. Help us support their work by contributing to their Indiegogo project or sharing the project via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+!

Want to learn more? Read about this project in the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, VentureBeat, and GigaOm!

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