On April 27th 2015, Google announced through their public policy blog that they are opening up a market place where individuals or organizations could sell their patents.
The Patent Purchase Promotion idea came out of Google’s necessity to acquire new rights to inventions that would be useful to the company and at the same time help the holder of the patents stay clear of the patent trolls that often consider a company’s interest in IP as a chance to haggle.
Basically, what Google wants is to cut out the middleman in order to avoid lawsuits which mean loss of time and financial resources and lack of concrete results. So, starting on the 8th of May anyone holding a patent that they wish to sell have only to fill a submission form on the portal set up by Google and name their asking price.
After the 22nd of May, when the campaign closes, Google will analyze all applications and decide in their turn what they wish to acquire. Then they will contact the owners of the patents for further details about price, legal aspects and payment.
Google promises that the process will be as short as possible and all sellers should receive their payments by the end of August 2015. The company even advises the applicants to consult an attorney and to make sure they fully understand the process and its consequences.
Although Google insists that this project is just an experiment it seems very well planned and thought out.
First of all, the company will have the chance to get a feel for the patent market at no cost to them, because it’s very likely that many individuals and small organizations will be enticed by the idea of selling directly to Google.
Secondly it’s also possible that many of the patents that will eventually be selected by the company for purchase will be under-evaluated by the current holders, especially when taking into account the short window for submission, which makes it almost impossible to approach other possibly interested parties.
In the end one thing is certain, Google is out to make a profit and they are thinking in the long term. People should expect no charity from the tech giant, just a good battle of wits, will and power.
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