Intellectual Ventures is a private company founded in 2000 to invest in “pure invention.” Its goal is to develop a large patent portfolio rather than to actually develop new systems. Its employees are predominantly patent attorneys, physicists, engineers and biotechnologists. They also have hired prominent scientists to perform invention including Robert Langer of MIT, Leroy Hood of the Institute for Systems Biology, Ed Harlow of Harvard Medical School, Danny Hillis of Applied Minds, and Sir John Pendry of Imperial College.
Intellectual Ventures was founded by Nathan Myhrvold and Edward Jung of Microsoft, Peter Detkin of Intel, and Gregory Gorder of Perkins Coie, a Seattle-based law firm. They reportedly have raised over $10 billion from many large companies including Microsoft, Intel, Sony, Nokia, Apple, Google and eBay. Estimates range between 1,000 and 5,000 purchased patents and hundreds of original inventions. Investors gain protection from being sued over these patents, but the Intellectual Ventures intends to impose royalties on other companies