Google has unveiled a new experimental patent purchase program that gives patent holders the ability to sell their patents to the company.
Google stated in a blog post that patent holders can inform Google about the patents they're willing to sell and the expected price through the portal. The Patent Purchase Promotion program will be open from May 8 to May 22. Patent holders will be informed by June 26 if Google is interested in buying their patents and final payouts will be made to the sellers by August.
Under the experimental program, patent holders will still retain a license to their work, but will be unable to sell or transfer it to other entities. With the program, smaller inventors will be able to make money for their invention, and Google will get a potential source of future revenue.
Google says in an FAQ about the new program, “We view this as an experiment. We are looking for ways to help improve the patent landscape, and we hope that by removing some of the friction that exists in the secondary market for patents, this program might yield better, more immediate results for patent owners versus partnering with nonpracticing entities.”
Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google, stated that the program that the marketplace approach is meant to "remove the complications of working with entities such as patent trolls."
Google holds thousands of patents and is one of the leading patent owners in the technology industry. The Internet giant acquired nearly 2,000 patents in 2013 alone. MIT Technology Review stated in a report, "Each year, Google has won, on average, twice as many patents as the year before. That pace of growth appears to be both faster and more sustained than that of any other large company," including Apple, IBM and Microsoft.