This is Intellectual Ventures, which is suppossed to be the factory of the future. They don’t build anything; they hire some few researchers to claim that they actually produce some of their own patents. But their real business is buying patents from others, particularly those who may be used to sue their investors (and the investors include Microsoft, Intel, Sony, Nokia, Apple, Google, and eBay. The company acts as a patent hoarders, which means that those patents their investors can rest knowing that they won’t be sued (Microsoft is still fighting the Eolas patent), but it also means that they can license the patents that they have acquired.
A very profitable company model, but is it moral?