Making something, and selling something are different art forms.  Patent licensing is a difficult business to do well.  An inventor like Dan Abelow would have a difficult time focusing on what he does best, which is creating and inventing, if he had to spend his time selling, or managing selling.  Realistically, he doesn’t have the skills, nor the time, nor the economic means to do so.  That said… his value still should be compensated by the market.  

The money that Intellectual Ventures paid Dan enabled him to focus on his next set of creations and inventions, which will hopefully create new productivity for the world.

Intellectual Ventures provided a value for companies that took licenses for the bundle of patent rights that they have aggregated.  Some of that value flowed to Dan Abelow and other inventors (or institutions that owned the patents in the case of companies and universities) for their creation.  It is reasonable to assume that some of that value went to Intellectual Ventures investors, management and staff who took the time to aggregate the valuable collection of rights.

Lodsys is specializing in selling rights efficiently in a manner that likely does not make sense for Intellectual Ventures to do.  Lodsys is seeking an economic return to sell the lawfully acquired rights, providing work and income for people and doing all the same steps as any other tech company to solve a problem and to make money. 

In aggregate, this cycle of patent licensing means that more invention can happen and it means that the economic profit pie is distributed more efficiently to suppliers of building blocks that are incorporated in the products or services.  

In an ideal world, there will be a more efficient marketplace than litigation, or direct sales, or aggregation and then direct sales in order to acquire all the necessary patent rights. 

But for an app developer to take a year or two to write an application and to see money from the app, is good fortune built on top of the contributions of the entire shared ecosystem, including independent inventor’s patent outputs such as Abelow’s.

 


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