In Today’s Recorder/Cal Law, we told you about RPX Corp’s unusual intervention in a patent fight between patent holding company Acacia and 20 defendants, including Epson and Canon.
Acacia announced on Friday that a subsidiary called Light Valve Solutions reached a licensing agreement with RPX, a new company that buys and licenses patents for its paying members. The idea is to take "dangerous" patents off the street for its members' protection. RPX involved itself with the case by announcing that defendants who sign up with RPX get a license to the Acacia patent, letting them out of the suit.
"If they don't sign up with us, they're still being sued," said John Amster, who co-founded RPX this fall. "If they get access to this portfolio through us, they're not just getting access to this portfolio, they're getting access to everything we have."
RPX has said that dues can vary widely based on the size and nature of a company, from $35,000 to nearly $5 million
The deal seemed like an odd twist in a patent suit, but it seems it’s a bit more interesting than we’d thought. We talked with RPX co-founder John Amster again today and he told us that the deal isn’t a get-out-of-suit-(not)-free card for every defendant. The deal with Acacia allows RPX to offer licenses to a limited number of defendants, but not all of them. Amster would not say exactly why they could only license a limited number of defendants, but he did say that there's an element of "first come first served" as well as "financial" factors that limit the number.
— Zusha Elinson