It’s no shock that Intellectual Ventures, the patent aggregator founded by Microsoft Corporation billionaire Nathan Myhrvold, fought legislative reforms that would make patent enforcement tougher and cap damages for infringement. But a breach of contract suit filed against IV in March offers a peek at how the lobbying effort may have unfolded.

In the complaint, filed in Washington, D.C., federal district court, economist Pat Choate accuses IV of withholding $495,000 it vowed to pay him to organize opposition to patent reform bills circulating in Congress in 2009 and 2010. The suit asserts that Choate worked closely with Myhrvold, former IV public affairs director Peter Harter, and other IV executives to lobby lawmakers starting in 2007. Choate also claims that IV asked him to win support for an alternative bill in the IP industry and with universities, organized labor, and other groups. After the 2008 elections, Choate asserts, IV and its allies began a “Plan B” effort to push that alternative. Choate claims he had a $30,000-a-month contract to head the effort, that IV agreed to pay him if others failed to, and that Harter said the push was needed because “other members of the opposition to the bill considered IV to be a ‘troll.’ “

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