SAN FRANCISCO, USA: RPX Corp. announced that Dell Inc. and Acer Inc. have joined the RPX Defensive Patent Aggregation, bringing membership to 39 companies since RPX introduced its service 18 months ago.
Combined with current members HP, Sony, Panasonic, and others, RPX members represent a strong base of membership from companies involved in the PC market in the US.
RPX created its Defensive Patent Aggregation service to reduce the cost and risk of patent assertion and litigation by non-practicing entities (NPEs).
NPEs, which acquire patents solely for the purpose of licensing and infringement litigation, as opposed to originating them through research and development, cost technology companies more than $3 billion during 2009.
RPX counters the NPE problem by acquiring patents and patent rights, and providing them as a defensive aggregation for its members, which pay annual fees ranging from $40,000 to $5.2 million depending on company size. Members automatically receive rights to RPX's entire portfolio. Annual fees are often less than the cost of even a single patent assertion defense.
There were 467 NPE cases filed in the US last year – nearly one out of every five patent infringement cases – representing a 30 percent increase from 2008. Average patent damages awards for computer manufacturers was $84.6 million in 2009, according to Lex Machina, which administers one of the largest legal-empirical databases in the United States.
“In less than two years, the RPX member network has become the largest and fastest growing platform for tackling the problem of patent risk,” said John Amster, RPX CEO. “Our continuing momentum increases the benefit to our members and furthers our ultimate objective of eliminating the need for patent litigation.”