The world’s largest patent-holding company, Intellectual Ventures (IV), has opened up a Washington DC office, according to The Washington Post’s Capital Business blog. The move appears to be a ramping up of the company’s lobbying efforts in a year in which “patent trolls” have come under unprecedented criticism in Congress.

For each of the past four years, Congressional lobbying records show that IV has spent about $1 million annually advocating to lawmakers in areas like patent policy and litigation reform. In 2007 and 2008, it spent around $900,000. Back in 2005, it spent $440,000.

The firm was founded over a decade ago by former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold. It spent years acquiring tens of thousands of patents before it began filing court cases in 2009.     

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