As The Prior Art recently reported, Ocean Tomo’s last San Francisco patent auction was a bust. Still, as was true last year, there was plenty of scuttlebutt about what role giant patent-holding company Intellectual Ventures (IV) might play at the event. TPA reported on some of that speculation, which prompted a note from Kevin Barhydt, director of IV's acquisition program.
Intellectual Ventures does not publicly talk about specific patent purchases or its licensing activity—a policy that was in full effect when TPA spoke with Barhydt last week. Despite the lack of specifics, Barhydt did have some interesting things to say about IV's acquisition program. Over the past several years, the company has acquired more than 20,000 patents. About 15 percent were purchased at auction, 20 percent were bought when sellers approached IV directly, and the rest were acquired via brokers representing sellers or agents representing IV.
Another note: in this interview, Barhydt uses the term 'asset' synonymously with patent, which might be confusing to some. The interview was edited and condensed.