Thinkfire, an East Coast patent brokerage and consulting firm, is opening up shop in Mountain View. To start the new office, it has hired Kent Richardson, an IP lawyer who worked at Wilson Sonsini and Rambus.
“It’s where a lot of our clients are, so we expect it’s where our growth will be,” said Richardson, who said Thinkfire does work for companies like Hewlett-Packard.
But not every patent-related business is booming in the recession. Richardson just finished winding down a failed patent fund called Constellation Capital. The idea was to pool investors’ money, buy patents and create a library of patents that companies could use to defend themselves. Richardson said it was a good idea that came at the wrong time when financing for projects like his all but dried up.
Thinkfire has been around for eight years, but has changed its business model somewhat over the years. “It was supposed to be a licensing body, and it’s become much more of a consulting firm in an IP sense,” Richardson explained.
So far he’s the only guy in the new office. “It’s an army of one,” he said.
— Zusha Elinson