Known for its fight against patent trolls, Google took a step further and pledged to give away for free two patents for each start-up in order to lower the rate of trolling. This battle is difficult to fight, and the search giant’s latest decision will surely intensify the war.
Another anti-patent troll campaign conducted by Google happened last April, when the company decided to open an “experimental patent marketplace.” This way, companies or developers could offer patents to Google in a safer environment.
The free patents seem to have only one limit; as long as a start-up remain a member of the License On Transfer (LOT) network – a group formed last year that aims to reduce patent infringement claims – Google will make no claim over the patents it gave away.
Leading technology companies are part of the LOT groups, such as Canon and Dropbox, and their job of fending off patent trolls is definitely not a walk in the park. Even though there are no royalty fees, joining the network does come with membership fees.
In order to help start-ups ease their way in, Google has decided that the first two years of fees will be waived for all the newbies who want to become a part of the group. But start-ups are not the only ones falling victims to patent trolls; major companies have been targeted as well.
But since the big players can take care of themselves, Google has decided to offer some help to the “budding newcomers,” so the name of the two freebies is very fitting: Google Patent Starter Program.
What’s more, the package is not up for grabs all around. The company has pledged to offer it only to 50 qualified start-ups and developers, meaning that the timeframe for interested firms which want to apply for the patents is limited.
According to details offered by Google via TechCrunch, companies would only qualify if they had somewhere between $500,000 and $20 million revenue in 2014. After submitting an application, the start-up will have the option of selecting two of the five families of patents.
Google also explained why it was so willing to help newbies make it into the market: showing compassion to the beginners is the company’s way of staying humble and remembering where they came from.
Moreover, Google is a big fan of the start-up culture which allows great ideas and passion to bloom into innovation and technology, a culture that ends up benefitting so many customers.
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