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Most execs like patents, Intellectual Ventures study says

Most execs like patents

Patents are either the scourge of technology, or its savior — depending on who you talk to.

Intellectual Ventures, a company that has quite a bit invested in the business of patents, talked to more than 200 top executives earlier this year, and now says the majority of those individuals are keen on the idea of patents.

The controversial Bellevue, Wash.-based technology company — which CNET profiled extensively last August — released the findings of that study, which is its first, on Monday. It partnered with PR firm Waggener Edstrom and research firm Research Now to accumulate the data, which Intellectual Ventures’ president and chief operating officer Adriane Brown hopes will provide a “true perception” of what companies are really thinking.

“There has been a lot of rhetoric going on,” Brown said of patents in an interview with CNET. “But contrary to what some others might suggest, we actually believe that the issues being discussed in America’s boardrooms in companies of all sizes and across industries is not whether patents matter, but how they matter.”

To that extent, Brown says the company ordered up the research to not only validate its point, but also to find out what the “true perceptions” of its potential customers were.

Inside Intellectual Ventures

CNET goes behind the scenes at Intellectual Ventures

The low down: 68 percent of the executives said they had a “positive overall perception of patents,” and 70 percent said patents were “good for innovation.” Also, 78 percent of executives who participated in the study said companies should be paying licensing fees if they’re using technology that’s been patented by others.

The study was blind, meaning Intellectual Ventures does not actually know who the companies were — only the executive’s titles, the state, and the what industry the company is in. The study only included companies in the U.S., something Brown says could change in a future research effort.

The report comes as Intellectual Ventures appears to be ramping up its litigation efforts. IV has filed legal complaints against AT&T, Canon, Ricoh, Symantec and Toshiba, in recent months, accusing all of patent infringement.