The Patent Purchase Promotion’s aim is to remove friction from the patent market by letting Google do the buying. In short, the company said: “We invite you to sell us your patents.”
Between May 8 and May 22, 2015, Google will offer a portal for patent holders to tell Google about patents they’re willing to sell at a price they set. The company will then review all the submissions, and by June 26 promises to let submitters know which patents it wants to buy.
Google will then work with patent sellers to close the transaction “in short order.” More specifically, the company is hoping to buy all the patents it is interested in “by late August.”
Here is how Google explained why this only a two-week promotion:
By simplifying the process and having a concentrated submission window, we can focus our efforts into quickly evaluating patent assets and getting responses back to potential sellers quickly. Hopefully this will translate into better experiences for sellers, and remove the complications of working with entities such as patent trolls.
While patent owners often choose to sell patents for a variety of reasons, the patent marketplace doesn’t give many options, and so sellers sometimes end up working with patent trolls. That leads to wasted time and effort for the larger industry, and companies like Google suffer.
Google is essentially making a bet: If the company can buy a bunch of patents before patent trolls do, it could save a lot of time and money. Of course, this program is an experiment. Google said to “think of it like a 20 percent project for Google’s patent lawyers” (a reference to when the company used to let its employees use a fifth of their time to work on any idea they pleased).
Google says it “reserves the right to not transact for any reason.” Still, if you want to sell a patent that you would rather not see a patent troll end up with, it may be worth waiting until May 8 to give this promotion a try.
VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Learn more about membership.