Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has come forward to smash the patent trolls from curbing any of the advancements in technology by other startups. The Internet giant will now giving away the patents without a charge to the eligible companies or start-ups to improve the technology further. Some companies do not make any of use of these patents and earn a substantial royalty over it. Google Inc. wants to stop these companies from ruining any further development under the big bad umbrella of the patent rights.
Startups growing in the Silicon Valley can enjoy free patents from Google, provided that they join a new project coined as Patent Starter Program. More than 50 companies and their developers will be joining this program to add technologies to their projects that were previously bounded by a patent.
However, some rules have been laid down for a company to join and ask for the license from this program. Firstly, the firm’s revenue for the previous year (In this case, 2014) should lie anywhere between $500,000 and $20 million. Second, Google will observe the company’s worth and then will provide five patent families closely related to the enterprise’s products. Later, the startup or firm should choose any two best patent families that it can use for the further advancements.
Companies will be asked to join the LOT Network with a contract of two years, and to avoid any patent trolling within the network, the Internet giant will be keeping the patent papers to itself. Google’s LOT program includes more than 300,000 patents.
In the LOT programs, members sign the agreement of handing over their patents to other members so that new people joining the program can quickly access those for further development.
What’s important to know here is that the Internet giant is controlling authority here and will only lend these patent properties for free after a careful examination.
However, Google itself is suffering from few patent trolling issues. Microsoft takes about $2 Bn from Google over a patent technology it uses in the Android. At about $5 is earned by Microsoft from the sale of every Android smartphone.
Probably this is the reason; Google doesn’t want any other company to get involved in the vicious circle of licensing agreements.
Without a doubt, the new program from Google is an antidote for the poison that has spread in the Silicon Valley. While someone works hard to improve the technology, some just sit on patent properties and earn the royalty over it.