Patent Predator Intellectual Ventures Builds Up Lobbying Troops
IV, which has amassed thousands of patents over the past decade as part of its intellectual-property licensing business, recently tapped telecom lobbyist Russell Merbeth to establish an in-house lobbying team in Washington, D.C. Merbeth’s mandate, according to his lobbying registration: To represent IV on issues related to patent reform, intellectual-property rights, taxation of patent royalties and corporate tax reform.
An interesting, and inevitable, move for IV, whose lobbying spending rose from $440,000 to $1,040,000 between 2005 and 2012. With the Obama administration wading ever deeper into the debate over patent litigation and rolling out policies intended to better regulate patent-holding firms, opening a D.C. lobbying office is a wise move. As Merbeth, former vice president of government affairs at Cricket Communications, told the Washington Post, it’s time for IV to step up its game inside the Beltway.
“Intellectual Ventures has been active in Washington and after the America Invents Act was passed, IV wanted to standardize its public policy operations regardless of if there’s any legislation being considered at the moment,” Merbeth told AllThingsD. “IV will continue to have a consistent presence here in Washington to educate members of Congress and the administration.”