The array of participants in the lucrative patent-litigation business — from non-practicing entities and licensing pools to defensive alliances and aggregators — can make an IP attorney’s head spin. Now, individual investors keen on tracking the players and their machinations — and on making some money of their own — will soon have a new way to potentially profit from patents.

RPX Corporation — which bills itself as a defensive patent aggregator and aims to neutralize NPEs (aka patent trolls) by buying up patents and licensing them to clients for an annual subscription fee-registered in January for an initial public offering, according to a Form S-1 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A date for the IPO has not been set. Co-founded by Intellectual Ventures veterans John Amster and Geoffrey Barker, the three-year-old San Francisco-based company seeks to raise $100 million by going public and is being advised on the offering by Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian.

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