Microsoft Cloud Authors: Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White

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Software Industry Leaders Join RPX Defensive Patent Aggregation to Cut Costs and Risks of Litigation

RPX Corp. today announced that Microsoft Corp., McAfee Inc., and Symantec Corp. are new members of the RPX Defensive Patent Aggregation service.

The announcement comes just weeks after Sharp Corporation and the US subsidiary of Swedish telecommunications software and services company Enea joined RPX.

“Patents have long been viewed as a transactional problem, but in fact, for companies, they really represent risk,” said John Amster, RPX Co-CEO. “In every other market, companies deal with risk through insurance of some form, but with patents, companies generally self-insure. RPX provides companies an alternative.”

RPX established its Defensive Patent Aggregation service 14 months ago to reduce patent assertion and litigation initiated by non-practicing entities (NPEs), which cost technology companies around the world billions of dollars annually. NPEs acquire patents solely for the purpose of offensive licensing and litigation against operating companies, as opposed to originating them via research and development.

RPX counters the NPE problem by acquiring patent rights and providing them as a defensive patent aggregation for its members, which pay annual fees ranging from $35,000 to $4.9 million depending on company size. Members benefit from RPX's entire portfolio, and fees can be less than the cost of even a single patent assertion defense.

To date, RPX has invested $130 million to acquire more than 1,000 US and international patents and patent rights in the mobile, Internet search, telecommunications, networking, consumer electronics, and eCommerce (including data and transaction processing) sectors.

In 2009, one out of every five of the 470 NPE cases filed involved software defendants.

About RPX Corporation

RPX Corporation is the first defensive patent aggregator. RPX acquires patent rights and provides them as a defensive patent aggregation for an annual membership fee to reduce technology companies' patent risks and costs created by non-practicing entities (NPEs). The RPX Defensive Patent Aggregation service does not require member involvement in acquisitions, and RPX will not enforce the patents it purchases. RPX management has been responsible for more than $2 billion in patent transactions. RPX is financed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Charles River Ventures and Index Ventures.

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