Out Patenting the Patent Trolls

The latest effort to outwit the spate of sham companies extorting patent royalties is a group effort to cross the bridge before the trolls can get there.

The move, headed up by Google and bringing together big names including Verizon, Cisco, and HP, involves the creation of a holding company, christened the Churchill-esque Allied Security Trust, which will snatch up key patents and hold them in common to keep them out of the hands — and legal actions — of royalty-hungry patent trolls. Each company is putting up $250,000 to join, and escrowing a whopping $5 million to provide a slush fund for patent purchases. Good news for the good guys, but something tells us this won't be the end of the greed brigade.

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