Microsoft and Sony have agreed to invest in Intellectual Ventures’ (IV) latest acquisition fund, while Apple and Intel, which invested with IV previously, declined to participate, Reuters has reported, citing people briefed on the fundraising. The investment decisions by four iconic technology companies come in the midst of a heated debate over whether it is too easy for patent owners to extract large royalty payments, and whether patent buying firms spur or stifle innovation. Amy Landers, an intellectual property professor at University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, said Apple and Intel’s decision on IV’s latest fund was probably unrelated to the political debate on patent reform. “The companies that are not investing in the fund have probably just found better uses for their money,” Landers said.
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