A San Francisco-based startup is looking to kill off companies that buy and enforce patents in the technology sector but do nothing else with their IP. Unified Patents is looking to recruit companies of all sizes for a collective effort to end patent infringement lawsuits brought forth by patent trolls, The Wall Street Journal reported. The startup plans to protect its members with a variety of strategies, one of which will be to use its smaller members as an early warning system for when patent trolls look to purchase their technology or threaten them with litigation.
Members will have the ability to protect one another against these trolls, or even purchase technology from a fellow member before a troll does. The company is also asking the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to re-examine the patents currently in possession of patent trolls, which may lead to an increased number of patents being declared invalid.
Unified Patents is already off to a good start and has one significant member on board: Google (GOOG). The company has been outspoken about its displeasure with the current state of technology patents, and recently asked the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice to take a stand against “abusive troll litigation and patent privateering,” which it notes is “harming innovative industries.”