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Some of the more high-profile IP groups that have cropped up in the past few years. Intellectual Ventures Founded in 2000 by former Microsoft chief technologist Nathan Myhrvold. What it does: Billed as a company that invests in invention, IV hosts “inventions sessions” of major scientists, technologists, and mathematicians, and has raised about $400 million in funding. IV has been secretive about its other plans, which may include licensing or spin-off companies. IPotential Founded in 2004 by former Intel licensing lawyers Ron Epstein and Joe Chernesky. What it does: Acts as a patent broker in IP deals, and also offers some evaluation and consulting services. IPotential sold over $50 million worth of patents in the third quarter of 2005. Ocean Tomo Founded in 1999 by James Malackowski, cofounder of litigation strategy and consulting firm InteCap, Inc. (now part of CRA International, Inc.). What it does: Aspires to be an IP investment bank. Ocean Tomo offers expert testimony, patent evaluation, asset management, patent acquisitions, and, most famously, Ocean Tomo runs patent auctions. The company plans to run two auctions a year beginning in March. ThinkFire Founded in 2001, also by Myhrvold. What it does: Offers brokerage, evaluation, litigation support, negotiation execution, and patent assertion analysis. Clients include Lucent Technologies Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Ciena Corporation, and NEC Corporation.

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