The Troll on Steroids

John Gruber:

Fantastic hour-long exposé on Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures, which comes out looking like the root of all evil in the U.S. software patent protection racket. Lodsys, of course, is one of their shell company fronts.

There about 1300 IV shell companies, companies that don’t invent, have no employees, and are all about suing. In a word, patent trolls. Here’s how the name came about according to Peter Detkin, the guy who coined the term:

Oh, the story of a troll kind of fits ‘cause the whole Billy Goats Gruff thing, it’s someone lying under a bridge they didn’t build, demanding payment from anyone who passed.

Detkin is now a founder and vice chairman of IV in Silicon Valley. How ironic. The exposé is by This American Life.

Leave a Reply