Blog

17 Oct 2014

Better late than never for Michelle Lee, but as USPTO director she faces a series of major challenges

The news that Michelle Lee has been formally nominated by the Obama Administration to be the next Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office is no surprise. It’s been widely trailed and she has effectively been auditioning for the role for the last year or so. There are also no doubts as to her credentials: Lee had a long and distinguished career in private practice and corporate IP, served two terms on the USPTO’s Patent Public Advisory Committee, and has a background in Read more

Joff Wild

16 Oct 2014

As Qualcomm faces potentially massive licensing fine, Intel looks for a safer route into China

Intel has invested $1.5 billion to take a significant ownership stake in Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics, two of China’s largest and fastest-growing manufacturers of microchips. The deal – which Reuters reports as having been finalised in late September – saw the US company partner with Tsinghua Unigroup, an investment vehicle controlled by Tsinghua University. Unigroup – which Reuters describes as being “government-affiliated” – Read more

Jack Ellis

16 Oct 2014

How do you teach experience? When it comes to UPC judges Europe has to find a way

A court is only as effective as its judges and users of Europe’s new Unified Patent Court (UPC) regime will be looking for evidence that the individuals assigned to hear cases in whatever location are of the highest quality – not just in terms of intellect, but also (and crucially) in terms of their knowledge of patent law and practice. In his latest dispatch, Bristows partner Alan Johnson explains why, as things stand, there are serious concerns this may not be the case, even Read more

Joff Wild

15 Oct 2014

New banking group launches with focus on improving patent quality

The Clearing House, a banking industry group representing more than 20 US and international financial institutions, has formed the Patent Quality Initiative, a project aimed at eliminating bad patents through better prior art searching, research and filing IPRs. The move reflects the rise in patent infringement cases involving financial institutions and their increased sophistication as significant patent holders. It is also notable given the increased convergence in the banking sector as tech Read more

Richard Lloyd

14 Oct 2014

Marathon becomes the latest NPE to move into the medtech space

IAM assistant editor Jack Ellis has put the following blog together. I am posting it due to a few technical issues ... Marathon Patent Group has made a move into the medical technology space after agreeing a $10 million deal to acquire three patent portfolios from MedTech Development LLC. The assets cover inventions relating to kyphoplasty, intervertebral inserts and heart valve replacements. Marathon – which enjoys a close relationship with IPNav - is not the first patent Read more

Joff Wild

13 Oct 2014

The US patent market is changing quickly and to the benefit of the big operating companies and NPEs

I am just back from a week in the US attending the annual meeting of the LES USA and Canada in San Francisco and spending some time in New York finalising arrangements for the IAM NPE event that will take place in the city early next year (either 5th or 12th March – final decision will be made by Friday at the latest). As ever, I had plenty of conversations and meetings during which many things were discussed. So, without breaking any confidences, here are a few observations that are Read more

Joff Wild

10 Oct 2014

Lemley: the case for Congressional patent reform is far weaker than it was a year ago

Yesterday, the IAM blog carried the first part of an interview with Professor Mark Lemley in which he talked about the reasons behind a sharp fall in patent litigaiotn activity in the US, the changing dynamics in the patent marketplace and the relationship between the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court. In part two, among other things Lemley turns his attention to the need – or not – for Congress to address patent reform, the smartphone wars and the diverging patent interests Read more

Richard Lloyd

10 Oct 2014

VCs should seek out patent-rich start-ups despite assertion anxieties, says France Brevets study

Start-ups that own patents prior to securing venture capital achieve a successful exit more quickly than those that do not, according to the findings of a recent study. ‘Can patent data predict the success of start-ups?’ – commissioned by France Brevets and researched by a team at MINES ParisTech – also reports that start-ups which strengthen their patent positions post-VC investment enhance their chances of a successful exit in the form of an acquisition, merger, Read more

Jack Ellis

09 Oct 2014

Alice decision a big reason for sharp fall in US patent litigation, says Mark Lemley

Yesterday the legal analytics company Lex Machina released its latest analysis of US patent litigation. This revealed that the number of cases filed in September was down 40% year-on-year. As luck would have it, IAM has been in Silicon Valley this week and was able to catch up with Lex Machina founder Professor Mark Lemley at Stanford University Law School. In the first of a two-part interview (part two will be published tomorrow) Lemley discusses the fall in US litigation cases and why he Read more

Richard Lloyd

09 Oct 2014

Why Europe's new patent regime could be an exciting one for NPEs

This blog has previously highlighted the potential attractions that Europe’s Unitary Patent Court (UPC) regime might present to NPEs, and it is certainly the case that in conversations I have had with a number of the big players in the US the possibility of expanding business into Europe over the coming years often comes up. In his latest piece on the UPC, Bristows partner Alan Johnson explains why the new system might well be an alluring one for the NPE community and looks at some of Read more

Joff Wild

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