On December 8, 2010, well-known patent aggregator Intellectual Ventures filed three patent infringement lawsuits against nine companies in the security software, memory, and chip markets. The lawsuits name as defendants several semiconductor and software businesses, including Check Point Software Technologies, McAfee, Symantec, and Trend Micro and accuse them of infringing four of Intellectual Ventures patents related to antivirus and Internet security.

The lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. Intellectual Ventures, founded by Nathan Myhrvol, has a business model based on developing or acquiring patents and then licensing the technology to others. The company reportedly owns more than 30,000 patents worldwide. The company says in the lawsuits that it approached the defendants offering to sell them licenses, but the firms declined. These are the first suits filed by Intellectual Ventures to enforce patents in its portfolio.

(Sources: http://news.cnet.com, The Wall Street Journal)