Google is offering to buy patents from anyone that has one to sell, and claimed that it will act to protect the interests of the community and stop patent trolls.
Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google, said that the current systems for selling patents are "challenging" and that it is typically smaller companies that find themselves exploited at a time when they need support and assistance. Google itself has experience of patent deals and disputes.
"Patent owners sell patents for numerous reasons (such as the need to raise money or changes in a company's business direction). Unfortunately, the usual patent marketplace can sometimes be challenging, especially for smaller participants who sometimes end up working with patent trolls," said Lo.
"Then bad things happen, like lawsuits, lots of wasted effort, and generally bad karma. Rarely does this provide any meaningful benefit to the original patent owner."
Lo added that the Patent Purchase Promotion will "remove friction" from the market by letting holders pitch their wares at Google at a price that suits them. The market will be open between 8 and 22 May after which time Google will make its approaches.
"We'll review all the submissions, and let the submitters know whether we're interested in buying their patents by 26 June," he said.
"If we contact you about purchasing your patent, we'll work through some additional diligence with you and look to close a transaction in short order. We anticipate everyone we transact with getting paid by late August.
"By simplifying the process and having a concentrated submission window, we can focus our efforts into quickly evaluating patent assets and getting responses back to potential sellers quickly.
"Hopefully this will translate into better experiences for sellers, and remove the complications of working with entities such as patent trolls."
Google said that the company can turn down any transactions, and recommended that merchants refer to legal advice before embracing the platform.
"We're always looking at ways that can help improve the patent landscape and make the patent system work better for everyone," said Lo.
"We ask everyone to remember that this programme is an experiment (think of it like a 20 percent project for Google's patent lawyers), but we hope that it proves useful and delivers great results to participants."
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