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Archived updates for Monday, November 15, 2004

Intellectual Ventures in the Currency of Inventions

While most venture capital firms invest in the business of technology (including start-ups that design and manufacture products), Intellectual Ventures says that it invests in pure invention: creating, funding and commercializing innovative new ideas. According to a November 22, 2004 article from Newsweek, Nathan Myhrvold, the multimillionaire former chief technologist at Microsoft, and his partner, former Microsoft chief software architect Edward Jung, "have created the quintessential company for the 21st century. It doesn't actually make anything; it has no factories, machine shops or marketing teams. Only patent attorneys populate the quiet hallways. The five-year-old firm's plan is to create or buy new ideas, accumulate patents - exclusive rights to use the inventions - and rent those ideas to companies that need them to do the gritty work of producing real products."

Referring to Intellectual Ventures' portfolio of patents as his own, Myhrvold reportedly told Newsweek, "If giant corporations are making billions of dollars off my ideas, I want something for it, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that."
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