New Venture Enters Patent Fray

Firms that buy and enforce patents make life hard for technology companies. A new San Francisco startup hopes to turn the tables.

Unified Patents plans to recruit companies for a collective effort to deter patent lawsuits or legal threats against its members.

The first to join United are Internet giant Google and NetApp, which makes data-storage hardware. But the venture plans to set itself apart by also recruiting small tech companies, which often have trouble defending themselves.

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