In an unprecedented move, Google is giving away patents to startups and developers across the globe. The Patent Starter Program is available to the first 50 eligible participants who fill out this form, so applicants are encouraged to apply immediately. Eligible startups or developers must have 2014 revenues between $500,000 and $20,000,000.
Here’s how it works: Google will select three to five patents in their portfolio, tailoring their selection to the qualifying startup’s business. Then the startup or developer chooses two patents to acquire from this select pool.
Startups interested in participating should act fast. This program immediately assists growing startups by granting valuable patents, while also encouraging responsible patent ownership. Patents obtained through the program can only be used defensively, meaning a startup cannot use these patents to initiate a lawsuit unless someone sues the startup first.
The acquiring company is also required to join the License On Transfer (LOT) Network. The LOT Network is a royalty-free patent cross-licensing agreement. Because many operating companies sell patents to patent trolls and non-practicing entities, the LOT Network reduces the number of patents potentially available to trolls. LOT membership fees are waived for Patent Starter Program companies for the first two years.
Visit Google’s Patent Starter Program for more information and to apply.