Reuters today reported that Microsoft has agreed to participate in patent firm Intellectual Ventures’ latest acquisition fund. According to Reuters sources, while Microsoft and Sony agreed to take part in the latest acquisition fund, Apple and Intel which invested with IV previously, declined to participate.
Last year IV curtailed patent acquisitions as it sought new investors, and IV now is ramping up, say three sources familiar with IV’s activity in the patent market.
“Microsoft and Sony’s investments give IV a fresh war chest to buy new patents,” said Kevin Jakel, chief executive of Unified Patents, which advises tech companies on alternatives to patent aggregators like IV.
But Apple and Intel’s decision is significant because the biggest tech companies have supported IV in the past. “This would be a dramatic departure,” Jakel said.
Intellectual Ventures was created in 2000 and since then they have raised about $6 billion and acquired 70,000 patents and other intellectual property assets. The company is seeking to raise $3 billion more. Intellectual Ventures do not primarily make products, instead they license patents to other companies which needs it.