As the White House and federal regulators work to crack down on so-called patent trolls, one company that’s found success relying on a business model of licensing patents is building a new in-house lobbying team in Washington.
Intellectual Ventures, a privately owned company based in Bellevue, Wash., has tapped telecom lobbyist Russell Merbeth, former vice president of government affairs at wireless giant Cricket Communications, to build its first office in D.C.
Merbeth joined the company in March, and said he will likely add a communications specialist here within the next six months.
Intellectual Ventures, co-founded in 2000 by the former chief technology officer of Microsoft, has worked with several outside lobby firms since 2005, including the Nickles Group, Richetti and Venable. Last year, it spent about $1 million to lobby Congress and executive agencies — more than double the $440,000 it spent in 2005. During the first six months of 2013, the company spent $370,000 to advocate on various patent reform measures, including issues related to patent rights of patent assertion entities, labeled by some as patent trolls.