Intellectual Ventures is a private company notable for being one of the top-five owners of U.S. patents, as of 2011. Its business model has a focus on buying patents and aggregating them into a large patent portfolio and licensing these patents to third parties. Publicly, it states that a major goal is to assist small inventors against corporations. In practice, the vast majority of IV's revenue comes from buying patents, aggregating these patents into a single portfolio spanning many disparate technologies and tying these patents together for license to other companies under the threat of litigation, or filing lawsuits for infringement of patents, a controversial practice known as patent trolling.
In 2009, Intellectual Ventures launched a prototyping and research laboratory called Intellectual Ventures Lab which attracted media controversy when the book SuperFreakonomics described its ideas for reducing global climate change. (Source: Wikipedia)