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Vendors Fight Back Against at 'Patent Trolls'

Eleven high-tech companies have joined forces to safeguard themselves from costly patent lawsuits.Allied Security Trust, a nonprofit group that includes Google, Apple, HP and Cisco, plans to buy intellectual property of interest to its member businesses before "patent trolls" can do so. Members pay $250,000 to join Allied and contribute about $5 million, which goes into an escrow account and is used toward patent purchases. Allied will sell the patents it acquires after members have granted themselves a nonexclusive license to the underlying technology.

The group won't face antitrust issues because it doesn't actually own the patents, and because it's nonprofit, said Allied CEO Brian Hinman, a former VP of intellectual property and licensing at IBM.CNN Money, The Wall Street Journal