Excerpt from "The Patent Profiteers" by Steven M. Cherry, IEEE Spectrum, June 2004 issue

Perhaps the oldest and most successful of these [patent enforcement companies] is General Patent Corp., Suffern, N.Y. Founder and president Alexander Poltorak says his 15-year-old "full service intellectual property management company" analyzes patents and assesses their value.

A patent's value, Poltorak explains, is its ability to bulwark legal claims leveled against companies that are making money with a product or service that might be infringing. Like Acacia [Technologies Group], General Patent then negotiates licenses, or, if necessary, initiates lawsuits.

Unlike Acacia, though, General Patent doesn't want to own or be assigned an inventor's patent; it's happy to provide services and collect fees, even a share of a litigation award. "The difference between the two companies is, we are not speculating on the patents," Poltorak says.