SAN FRANCISCO—Memory chip vendor Micron Technology Inc. said Tuesday (May 31) it entered into an intellectual property license agreement with Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV), the technology licensing firm started by a pair of former Microsoft Corp. executives in 2000.
Micron (Boise, Idaho) said the agreement gives the company access to IV's patent portfolio of more than 30,000 IP assets. In addition, the companies have the option to buy patents from each other, Micron said. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Micron said that under the terms of the agreement it can acquire patents from IV to help defend against companies that may assert patents against them, and that IV has the opportunity to acquire patents from Micron to expand and supplement its growing portfolio of IP assets.
IV (Bellevue, Wash.), described by some to be a patent troll, was founded in 2000 by Nathan Myhrvold, formerly the chief technology officer of Microsoft, Edward Jung, former chief architect at Microsoft, and others, including Peter Dekin, former assistant general counsel at Intel Corp. According to a posting on Wikipedia, the company is one of the top five holders of U.S. patents.
Last year, IV filed multiple suits against memory chip vendors Elpida Memory Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. and three programmable logic vendors, Altera Corp., Lattice Semiconductor Corp. and Microsemi Corp. IV later added Xilinx Inc., the largest programmable logic vendor, to the complaint.