Tech Giants' New Way to Thwart Patent Suits - BusinessWeek
On Jan. 28, Microsoft signed up for patent insurance. It's not insurance such as you might get for your car or house, but a startup called RPX provided what's probably the closest thing to it for tech giants. Companies such as Microsoft, Sony (SNE), and Nokia (NOK) pay RPX annual fees to avoid patent-related litigation. The fees depend on each company's revenue and can range from $35,000 to $4.9 million per year. The 14-month-old RPX is one of the first companies to offer the service, It's already signed up 30 members, including IBM (IBM), Cisco (CSCO), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and Samsung.