Smartphone Patent Suits Challenge Big Makers

The New York Times


In recent years, big companies have increasingly turned to patent-buying groups like Intellectual Ventures, RPX and Allied Security Trust, a nonprofit organization. These groups essentially provide big companies with insurance against lawsuits on the patents they hold or license, in return for fees or investments.

The R.I.M. case, said Robert P. Merges, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, proved to be “a major milestone in the evolution of the patent ecosystem,” spurring the adoption of tactics to reduce the risk of huge payouts.