The firm that’s recently been generating a lot of talk in the United States and Japan, Intellectual Ventures, has rolled out its new office here. On September 30 it hosted a launch reception. The founders of this new business model are Microsoft’s former chief technology officer, Nathan Myhrvold, Edward Jung and others. They established the company several years ago. It seems to be America’s strength that there are incredibly innovative people like this at the forefront, paving the way for new opportunities. It’s what I may call a frontier mentality. A Google search on Intellectual Ventures will give many results, including lots of interesting blogs and articles. Some apparently say the firm is "patent trolling." I think their business model is really interesting.
Working with university ventures I’ve noticed that scientists and engineers are unable to see where they stand in the big picture. And for managers, it is often difficult to clearly see what is happening in their company. That’s why many patents end up just sitting on shelves, and organizations are unable to make use of them.
It is extremely important to identify the patents that are sitting around and match them with the emerging needs of society and companies. The core of Mr. Myhrvold’s new business is to do this and create "inventior capital," which means adding value to inventors and patents.
I attended the opening event for the Japan branch of Intellectual Ventures on the evening of September 30. Mr. Myhrvold is a man of multiple genius. He went to UCLA at age 14 and studied physics. He loves dinosaurs and apparently has made many of his own findings. It is very impressive that Bill Gates can recruit people like this. I also had the opportunity to meet Mr. Jung the other day. They are both very nice and passionate about education too.