Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Global Patent troll comes to India

One news item that set the alarm bells clanging in my head was the Economic Times report that Intellectual Ventures has signed up an agreement to agreement to buy patents from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and plans to tie up with IIT Madras and other such institutes. I don't know the nature of these agreements, but if IISc and others are entering relinquishing significant control over these patents, this would amount to selling off the crown jewels. Neo-colonialism is the first word that comes to my mind after reading this report.

Extracts from the report:

"The company owns over 20,000 patents world-wide related to everything from lasers to computer chips and is now eyeing the 15,000 patents filed every year by various research
institutes in India."

"The fund is controversial in the US as it’s seen as monopolising inventions and using its clout to sign expensive patent-licencing agreements."

We will have to keep a close watch on this company.