Bill Gates answering questions on reddit. Bill Gates Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is one of 10 inventors named on a newly public patent application for a technology that uses mobile phones to turn text into video. Filed in January 2012, the application was made public on July 25 this year after the customary 18-month confidentiality period. Gates has been prolific in filing patent applications over the past few years, mostly through a partnership with friends at Intellectual Ventures (IV). That’s one of the world’s largest patent holding companies, typically described as a patent troll because of its practice of acquiring patents and using them to file lawsuits (notably against Motorola), despite not using the patents to make technology of its own. Gates’s patent filings show that (at least as of 2012) he hasn’t slowed down his involvement with IV even as patent trolls are viewed in an increasingly negative light throughout the technology industry. Gates famously criticized technology patents and their impact on the industry in 1991, but he’s displayed a much more favorable view of patents since. 5     

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