Patent litigation in the United States is a significant business cost. While 85% of patent litigation is between competing operating companies, the remaining 15% is between operating companies and NPEs – companies that have no products or services and exist purely to license and assert patents. It is estimated that investments in NPEs has grown to between $6 billion and $8 billion between 2000 and 2008, providing a large pool.
Concerned about threat from NPEs like Intellectual Ventures? Counter to NPEs is RPX’s Defensive Patent Aggregation.RPX provides a service that identifies and purchases patents that could be used offensively against the operating firm. They purchase these key patents into their Defensive Patent Aggregation, which is then licensed in its entirety to their members for an annual subscription fee.