Out of Work Trolls: Forced Accountability & Patent Trolls
August 20, 2014
Intellectual Ventures the world’s most notorious patent troll company, laid-off 19% of its workforce.
The company has built up a massive number of patents over the course of its 14-year history, becoming one of the largest patent holders in the world. But instead of making products with those patents, it sells and licenses them to other companies or uses them to sue firms that it claims infringe on those ideas.
That’s an idea right out of The Sociopathic Business Model™ playbook. All accomplices eventually become victims. In February the company laid-off 5% of their staff and now another 19% which is about 140 jobs according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Founded by former Microsoft executives Nathan Myhrvold and Edward Jung, Intellectual Ventures hires some of the world’s leading thinkers and inventors. But it appears that some of the big players are sending the company some Forced Accountability and refusing to work with Intellectual Ventures. Google, Oracle, and Hewlett-Packard know that they’d potentially risk current and future partnerships by investing or working with Intellectual Ventures who’d possibly poach patents from their clients.
Today we see accomplices (employees) become victims (unemployed) so it’s good that companies are starting to recognize a cycle that favors unethical or often illegal behavior and refusing to do business with them. While it is unfortunate for the employees of Intellectual Ventures there’s hope that a severance will allow for them to make better choices for employment in the future. It’s also recognized that sometimes we just have to take a job to stop the bleeding; but, the more information employees are armed with when dealing with a company that employs tactics from The Sociopathic Business Model™ the better.