28 April 2017
Mountainview
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Google and Intertrust launch PatentShield


Google has partnered with computer company Intertrust to launch PatentShield, a programme designed to counter “predatory” patent infringement suits.

PatentShield will provide start-ups with a large patent portfolio, sourced from both Intertrust and Google, which can then be used to fight against aggressive patent litigation.

Intertrust said that, regardless of the merits, aggressive patent litigation often results in “a drain on the start-up’s funding and as a distraction to the management team”.

“Access to credible patent to assert in a countersuit is a key resource needed to defend against a patent infringement suit.”

It added: “Only by having patents to assert against the incumbent can a start-up even the stakes in a predatory patent infringement suit filed by an incumbent. The problem is that most startups don’t have access to a broad range of issued patents with which to countersue.”

“We designed PatentShield to protect innovators,” said Talal Shamoon, CEO of Intertrust. “We have direct experience with our venture portfolio companies being threatened in the past and conceived of this program in response. With PatentShield, startups can have additional peace of mind to grow while minimizing the threat from an undefended flank.”

Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google, added: “We are delighted to support PatentShield, which provides a targeted way to protect new and innovative businesses as they grow. The programme extends the array of initiatives Google has developed to help reduce frivolous litigation in the technology space.”

Start-ups can request to join PatentShield by filling out an application at www.intertrust.com/patentshield.

The programme has strict requirements on the development stage of the candidate company and its role in its markets.

Companies that are accepted to PatentShield must provide a small equity grant to the programme. In addition to accessing the defensive patent portfolio, the start-up can also benefit from strategic consulting in developing its own patent portfolio.

Earlier this month, Google was one of nine members to launch the Android Network Cross-License (PAX), to promote “patent peace” within the Android ecosystem.

PAX is a royalty free community cross-licence that covers Android and Google applications preinstalled on devices that meet Android’s compatibility requirements.

The licence has the backing of eight other members including Samsung, LG and HTC.

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