Intellectual Ventures Management, which its critics consider one of the largest U.S. "patent trolls," has deployed its first in-house lobbyist in Washington, D.C.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based patent holding company has sent its chief policy counsel, Russell Merbeth, to the capital to advocate on "[i]ssues related to patent reform, intellectual property rights, taxation of patent royalties, [and] corporate tax reform," according to lobbying registration paperwork filed with Congress Thursday. In March, Merbeth came to Intellectual Ventures from Cricket Communications Inc., where he served as vice president of government affairs.
Merbeth joins a team of outside lobbyists the company already uses in Washington, according to congressional records. Intellectual Ventures during the first half of 2013 spent a total of $370,000 on lobbyists from Ricchetti Inc. and The Nickles Group, as well as consultant Peter Harter, who stopped advocating for the company in March. The outside lobbyists focused on issues that included patent reform and the International Trade Commission.