Google launches PatentShield to help defend startups against patent litigations

By : |April 26, 2017 0

Google has announced a new program in partnership with Intertrust named PatentShield that aims to help startups from unnecessary patent litigation — in return of some equity.

Patent litigations are often damaging for nascent startups, so through this new service, Google and Intertrust are providing startups with access to a patent portfolio from contributing companies like Google, giving them a means of defending themselves against potential patent litigation from established players in their fields.

“The program extends the array of initiatives Google has developed to help reduce frivolous litigation in the technology space,” said Allen Lo, Google’s Deputy General Counsel for patents.



Google is seeding the program with a selection of its own patents and Intertrust, which itself has built up a patent portfolio around media streaming, IoT, security and other areas, will also give these startups access to some of its own patents and its intellectual property team.

There is a specific set of criteria required to join PatentShield and companies must individually apply to join the group. Though, the precise requirements aren’t known, but the application process probably verifies that companies joining are small enough for PatentSheild’s requirements, aren’t planning on using the portfolio as a means of aggression, and that they are actually potentially profitable businesses. That’s pretty obvious as the companies that are accepted into the program provide a small equity grant to PatentShield.

Google has always been considerate about patent lawsuits. The search engine company is part of the Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge, under which it has promised not to sue third parties that develop free or open source software that potentially infringed on a selection of its patents.


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