Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) is a unique publication which focuses on the many ways in which intellectual property and intangible assets can be used to create corporate value. The following are a list of blog posts I have written over recent months.
Following a nomination process that began back in January, today we can officially announce the five individuals who have been selected by the IP Hall of Fame Academy as this year’s inductees into the IP Hall of Fame.
Tomorrow, the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Highmark Inc v Allcare Management Sys Inc. According to Allcare’s attorney, Erik Puknys, the case is about more than the ‘troll problem’ Highmark has focused its arguments on. IAM previously highlighted this case, which addresses scenarios where successful defendants in patent lawsuits can seek costs and sanctions for litigation that they believe has been frivolous.
A study released last Friday by Professor Robin Feldman and Harvard Fellow Dr Nicholson Price predicts that biopharmaceutical companies are about to become the next targets for “patent trolls”. Entitled Patent Trolling: Why Bio & Pharmaceuticals Are at Risk, the study examines life science patents from five leading universities to evaluate their potential for assertion by NPEs.
GE Licensing has announced a pilot programme that will see it make GE-developed IP available for use by entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Canadian province of Alberta. GE has established a strong presence in Alberta’s oil and gas sector since signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the local government in 2010. In 2012, the company established its first Customer Innovation Centre in the province’s biggest city, Calgary.
Tessera Technologies announced this week that its subsidiaries, Tessera Inc and Invensas, have entered into a new patent licensing agreement with Samsung. This deal is further evidence of Tessera shifting its focus towards becoming a straight patent monetisation business.
Late last year this blog reported that the US Supreme Court will look at the patentability of software after agreeing to consider CLS Bank v Alice Corp. The court has continued to give a clear indication of the importance it currently attaches to patent issues by granting certiorari to six patent cases this term. These look at the fundamental principles of vicarious liability for infringement, indefiniteness, and fee shifting.
Timothy Lynch, the chief intellectual property officer (CIPO) of Eastman Kodak Company, will be leaving his post in February 2014, IAM can reveal.
The US Supreme Court is to take a look at the patentability of software after agreeing to consider CLS Bank v Alice Corp. However, any abolitionists expecting the court to hand down a decision effectively rendering software-related inventions unpatentable may be disappointed. In May 2007, CLS Bank sought a declaratory judgment that it was not infringing Alice Corp’s patents that cover a system for settling financial transactions between two parties.
A uniform trade secret law for the EU moves a step closer
The European Commission has announced proposals for a Directive on Trade Secrets and Confidential Business Information. If approved by member states and the European Parliament this will reform trade secrets regimes across the European Union by harmonising national laws. However, the Commission has made its move despite doubts being raised as to the effectiveness of such harmonisation plans.
Design right infringement could become a criminal offence in the UK
Recently Apple and Samsung fought a high-profile design case in the UK’s civil courts, with the Korean company eventually prevailing against its American competitor. But if a proposed law now before the British Parliament reaches the statute books, such disputes could well be conducted as criminal cases in the future.
Germany retains pole position in ranking of patent systems as US falls
The fourth Global IP Index (GIPI4) was launched in London last week by international law firm Taylor Wessing and saw Germany retain its ranking as the top jurisdiction in the patent index.
Patent “arms dealer” expects big swing in acquisition market
Self confessed patent “arms dealer” Will Plut was in London last week for the second annual Standards, FRAND, NPEs and Injunctions conference, jointly organised by the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL) and Taylor Wessing. Plut, the Silicon Valley-based principal of Patent Profit International, shared the stage with Henri Linde, Senior Vice President at RPX, and Sharaz Gill, former Head of Patent Litigation at HTC, for a session on the patent marketplace. According to Plut, exciting times are ahead.
Maybe it’s time for HTC to accept defeat and call a truce in its patent war with Nokia
Nokia has won the latest round in its on-going patent war with HTC. The High Court in London last week found that HTC had infringed on an EPO-granted patent owned by the Finnish company entitled modulator structure for a transmitter and a mobile station. The court decision could stop the Taiwan-based handset maker from selling its flagship smartphones in the UK because Nokia is now seeking to an injunction against the import and sale of HTC products, as well as financial compensation.
Intellectual Ventures beats a path other NPEs might do well to follow
Since April this year Intellectual Ventures has had a partnership with the largest grain processor in Finland. The deal – which has the not unambitious aim of helping to tackle global food supply – may help IV counter the ‘troll’ label often used by many of its critics. It could also provide a template for other NPEs to follow as they seek to counter claims that their business model is a drain on economic activity and a hindrance to innovation.
Tech giants top the list of most valuable brands
A new report from branding consultancy Interbrand has highlighted the dominance of technology-based companies as the ‘world’s best brands’. Perennial winner Coca-Cola has been toppled from the top spot for the first time in 14 years by Apple, whose brand is judged to be worth $98.3 billion, up 28% from 2012. The Cupertino based company is joined in the top 10 by six other tech giants.
Twitter reminds us that tech success is not always about patents
Twitter’s IPO is likely to be one of the most scrutinised since Facebook went public in May 2012. The company’s estimated value is almost $10 billion; but don’t look to patents for the reason why. Twitter’s portfolio is miniscule; but it has spent seven years building its brand and it is here where its true value lies.
Savvy start-up exploits troll hysteria to generate publicity worth millions
We are often told that wicked patent trolls attack vulnerable, naive start-ups in order to make a fast buck. But sometimes it is not that simple, as a case that has recently hit the headlines shows. Back in May shopping comparison website FindTheBest was on the receiving end of a patent infringement suit from NPE Lumen View Technology. Now FindTheBest has responded by accusing Lumen of extortion and bringing a counterclaim for civil violations of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
RPX takes bite of burgeoning insurance market
With the number of patent suits on the rise in the US, the case for intellectual property insurance is more compelling than ever. Up to now, though, because the costs of patent litigation can quickly exceed coverage limits it has remained a niche area. But a recently published report in the Insurance Journal suggests that insurers now recognise IP as a valuable asset; something that is leading to more products and competition in the market.