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RPX Corporation (NASDAQ: RPXC) is a provider of patent risk management services, offering defensive buying, acquisition syndication, patent intelligence and advisory services. Since the company was founded in March, 2008, RPX claims to have introduced efficiency to the patent market by providing a rational alternative to litigation. Based in San Francisco, RPX's approach combines principal capital, deep patent expertise, and client contributions to generate enhanced patent buying power.[clarification needed] By acquiring patents that pose potential problems and providing valuable intelligence to its clients, RPX seeks to reduce patent assertions directed at its growing client network.
An important component of RPX's market-based solution to the patent litigation problem is its Defensive Patent Aggregation. The RPX defensive patent aggregation service was created to mitigate clients’ risk of litigation from non-practicing entities (NPEs) – also called patent trolls – which acquire patents for the sole purpose of licensing and asserting their patent rights.
RPX identifies and purchases patent assets they identify as of high value, relevance and risk that could be used offensively against members of the company's client network. Depending on the situation, RPX may acquire assets from a third party or directly from an NPE. When necessary and possible, RPX will buy patent rights out of an active litigation.
RPX's service is designed to mitigate members’ litigation risk and costs from NPEs by purchasing patent rights off the open market.
RPX clients receive a license to all of the patents and associated rights aggregated in the RPX portfolio. Over time, RPX clients receive perpetual license to the patents held when they became members or purchased after they joined, as well as any patents sold during their membership.
The service is structured on an annual membership. Fees range from $65,000 to $6.9 million depending on company size. Annual membership fees may increase each year to account for the growing value of the RPX portfolio, but early-joining members lock in a lower rate. Companies that join the RPX client network later receive the same benefits, however must pay the then-current rates.
Since the company was founded in March 2008, RPX has invested more than $490 million in over 2,900 patents and patent rights in the consumer electronics, personal computing, e-commerce, software, gaming, media, media distribution, handsets, networking, semiconductors, mobile, Internet search and RFID markets, and has resolved 23 litigations for its clients resulting in more than 160 dismissals.
RPX has recently emphasized additional data services it provides to its membership. RPX CEO John Amster describes the RPX "client portal" as "the most complete integration of data available anywhere today related to patents and patent submits patents available for sale, historical and current patent litigation and MPEs [sic]", however the product is not publicly available (exclusive to RPX members) and, as a results, it has yet to be seen how the RPX portal compares to other services.
As of October 2012, RPX has more than 125 clients in its client network.
In its first year, RPX generated $0.8 million revenue in that year. Revenue grew to $32.8 million in 2009, reaching profitability. In the first nine months of 2010 RPX earned $10 million in profit on $65.2 million in revenue.
RPX filed an S1 on January 21, 2011 and RPX began publicly trading on the NASDAQ exchange as "RPXC" in May 2011.
- John A. Amster, CEO
- Geoffrey T. Barker, Co-Founder
- Maureen O’Gara “Software Patents: Start-up Sells Troll Insurance”, itv.com, 28 Nov 2008
- RPX Corporate Summary
- Trolling for Patents to Fight Patent Trolls, By Saul Hansell, The New York Times, May 25, 2009
- Joff Wild, IAM Magazine, "Why Sinking Markets Could Mean Real Opportunities for Patent Acquirers and Licensees", October 7, 2008
- RPX Defensive Patent Aggregation Service Summary
- "Attorney Creates Patent Holder as ‘Service Provider’". The Recorder. September 18, 2008.
- "In Fight Against Patent Trolls, A New Arrow in the Quiver". Wall Street Journal. 2008-11-24.
- RPX Patent Sellers Overview
- RPX Portfolio Growth
- Amol Sharma and Don Clark (September 17, 2008). "Tech Guru Riles the Industry By Seeking Huge Patent Fees". Wall Street Journal.
- Joff Wild, IAM, "'No Free Ride in Battle Against Patent Trolls', Says RPX Founder", November 24, 2008
- Rick Merritt, EE Times, "Cisco, IBM Join Subscription Patent Service", November 24, 2008
- Matt Asay, CNET, “RPX, Can it Defend Against Patent Trolls?”, November 24, 2008
- Ephraim Schwartz, InfoWorld, “IT's Latest Defense Against Patent Trolls”, November 25, 2008
- Zusha Elinson, The Recorder, "Troll Bridge", November 25, 2008
- Scott Duke Harris, San Jose Mercury News, “Patent Troll Disinfectant?”, November 25, 2008
- RPX's CEO Discusses Q3 2012 Results
- RPX's CEO Discusses Q3 2012 Results
- RPX Client Portal
- RPX Announces Third Quarter 2012 Financial Results
- Rick Merritt (September 17, 2008). "Patent Startup Gains High Profile Backing". EE Times.
- Patent Risk Advisory Firm RPX Files For An IPO
- UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION