Bellevue-Based Intellectual Ventures Now Targeting Financial Firms

Jun 4, 2013

After numerous high-profile lawsuits against tech companies, a Bellevue-based patent company is now setting its sights on the financial industry.

On Tuesday, Intellectual Ventures announced it has filed lawsuits against two banks, JP Morgan Chase and Fifth Third Bank, for patent infringement. This is Intellectual Ventures’ second round of lawsuits targeting financial firms in the past week. On May 29, the company filed suit against First National Bank of Omaha and PNC.

The complaint against JP Morgan Chase, filed in US District Court in the Southern District of New York, accuses the company of infringing on five technology patents that Intellectual Ventures owns.

One is titled “System For Controlling Access And Distribution Of Digital Property,” and another is a 1998 patent for secure electronic transactions.

Intellectual Ventures filed suit against First National Bank of Omaha and PNC after licensing discussions proved “not productive,” according to Intellectual Ventures’ Chief Litigation Counsel Melissa Finocchio, who is quoted on the company website.

The company continues to pursue licensing discussions with other financial services companies, said Finocchio.

According to the company, Intellectual Ventures holds more than 70,000 patents and has earned more than $3 billion through licensing deals.

The company was co-founded by Nathan Myhrvold, the former chief technology officer for Microsoft Corp.

Intellectual Ventures was the subject of a 2011 This American Life special report called “When Patents Attack,” which was highly critical of the company’s practices. Last week, This American Life broadcast a follow-up to that series. Today, Intellectual Ventures posted a lengthy statement on its website to “set the record straight” about the report.