Richard Lloyd

Intellectual Ventures founder Greg Gorder has left the firm, becoming the latest of the quartet of its founders to step away from the business, following Peter Detkin and Ed Jung. According to his bio, which remains on the IV website, Gorder left earlier this month and will now “focus on his family’s philanthropic activities”.

Detkin stood down as vice chairman in January 2015, although he has continued to devote part of his time to IV-related work. Earlier this year he became a senior adviser to Sherpa Technology Group, the consulting business that was established by former VP of IP at IBM and IP Hall of Fame member Kevin Rivette. Jung also took on a new role at the start of the year, becoming CEO of Xinova, the innovation business that was spun out of IV in 2016.

Gorder’s exit comes just a few months after IV announced that a number of senior executives - including COO Adriane Brown - were leaving. That left seven senior members of staff from across the firm’s patent funds and its science and global good funds reporting into CEO Nathan Myhrvold.

Myhrvold is now the only founder left with a day-to-day role at IV. Along with the senior departures, the iconic NPE has ramped up its patent selling and announced that it is effectively ending acquisitions for its most recent, third patent fund. Among the disposals it sold a portfolio of around 4,000 former Kodak-owned rights to Dominion Harbor. As this blog reported, many of the assets IV has sold have quickly ended up being asserted through litigation.

The news of Gorder’s departure coincides with an announcement that IV’s Invention Science Fund, the part of the business that looks to commercialise the firm’s own discoveries, is setting up the ISF Incubator to match IV inventions and know-how with start-ups. IV will look to profit through stakes in the new companies and from royalties on any of its patents that a start-up commercialises.

This is the latest shift in the IV business model, as it looks to forge more partnerships with outside businesses to create value from its vast trove of IP. The ISF news and recent senior departures show that firm is going through some highly significant changes.