It’s one of the most disgusting business models in the world of technology. Those who support it call it a business of ideas. Those with a conscious call it leaching off others’ innovations. Now one patent troll, Intellectual Ventures, needs more money and they’re turning to investors for the cash.
It would appear that Intellectual Ventures’ grand plans to tax innovators has hit a bit of a roadblock: the company appears to be running out of cash. Reuters has the news that the company has basically stopped buying new patents and has even had to push back the closing date on a bunch of deals it was trying to complete while it scrounges for cash. The world’s largest patent troll is seeking $3 billion in new investment money, to add to the $6 billion it already raised (and spent). The company also claims to have made $3 billion in license fees (what some might call shakedown fees). Of course, the numbers may be a little mixed up, since some of the massive licensing deals (sometimes over $100 million) often were described as “investments.” That is, companies would be told if they paid massive sums to “invest” they’d effectively get a license.