UCLA paper op-ed slams patent troll Nathan Myhrvold as commencement speaker

Patent troll extraordinaire Nathan Myhrvold is a poor choice for a commencement speaker, writes Ara Shirinian for the Daily Bruin.

Nathan Myhrvold

Nathan Myhrvold

Like other patent trolls, Intellectual Ventures does not create any commercial products, and uses vague patents with unoriginal ideas to make a game out of our legal system.

What it does with those patents is sue companies like Motorola, Symantec, Citibank, Canon, AT&T, Toshiba and many more. Even when Intellectual Ventures is not involved in litigation itself, it sells its patents to other patent trolls whose only reason for purchasing the patents is to sue even more companies.

Myhrvold combats the notion that Intellectual Ventures is a patent troll by pointing toward its research arm. Though it's true that the company conducts research, it has filed only about 3,000 patents, compared to the more than 70,000 it has purchased.

But while Intellectual Ventures makes its money, the rest of the industry suffers. The proof is everywhere; a recent study found that patent trolls have caused a decrease in the amount of venture capital being given to startup companies, which is directly harming our ability to bring new ideas forward.