IPBC Global 2015


26 Jan 2015

IP-savvy activist shareholders + declining patent values + tightening patent eligibility = potential trouble for public companies

The PIPCO sector has attracted its share of - sometimes less than sophisticated - investor interest and there are a number of investors that are active around privately-held licensing-based businesses. There are also various kinds of financial model employed to fund specific patent assertion campaigns. But what we have seen a lot less of is shareholders challenging operating company boards on the way they manage the IP under their control. Given that IP often accounts for a great deal of the Read more

Joff Wild

23 Jan 2015

The $130 million “anti-troll coalition” has the financial power to have a major say in the reform debate

A guiding principle for anyone observing the political process in Washington DC is, of course, to follow the money. In the patent world that is being given new meaning as the main players in the legislative reform debate swell the coffers of the US capital’s lobbyists. One new coalition is United for Patent Reform, a broad range of companies including tech giants Google, Facebook and Amazon, and representatives from more Main Street businesses including the National Read more

Richard Lloyd

23 Jan 2015

The age of the IP-aware activist shareholder has arrived

Private equity firm Vector Capital has filed suit against Technicolor over allegations that the French company manipulated shareholder voting. This is the latest development in a long running dispute between the two over the future of Technicolor's operations and technology licensing business. Vector Capital won a competitive bid for a minority stake in Technicolor in June 2012, investing €127 million (US$166 million) in return for around 21% of the company’s Read more

Jack Ellis

22 Jan 2015

Nothing gained from part two of the Michelle Lee Senate nomination hearing

As any film fan knows, sequels so often disappoint. The creative spark can seem lost; actors appear uninterested; the whole process looks rushed. You’re left wondering why the old gang bothered to get back together. And so it was with Michelle Lee’s second USPTO director nomination hearing before the US Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. It wasn’t that her first appearance last December was a classic, but at least then most of the lead players bothered to show up. In Read more

Richard Lloyd

21 Jan 2015

Highlights of the last seven days on the IAM blog

A number of recent developments have caused a decline in the value of US patents. But until now, one potential consequence has been overlooked. On the IAM blog this week, IPNav founder Erich Spangenberg argued that the combined effects of the America Invents Act and a spate of court decisions mean that publicly quoted companies that have directly or indirectly acquired patents must revisit the transactions to see whether their values require writedowns; those that do not could well face Read more

Joff Wild

20 Jan 2015

No smartphone patent war in China yet, but don’t be surprised if one does erupt

Chinese electronics company Oppo caused a small stir at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month with its accusation that Polaroid’s ‘Selfie’ smartphone copied its own rotating camera design. It is tempting to see this as an ironic role reversal – a US business potentially caught stealing Chinese IP. But the real irony is that the phone in question is a Chinese one; and while Oppo is happy to wage a war of words with Polaroid, it has so far Read more

Jacob Schindler

19 Jan 2015

Hammering “trolls” harms US prosperity, says top BASF IP strategist

US legislators have arrived back on Capitol Hill with patent reform again firmly on the agenda. Congressman Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and author of the Innovation Act in the last Congress, has made clear that it is one of his priorities. Much of the reform debate has focused on the actions of ‘patent trolls’ or troll-like behaviour, which advocates of fundamental change claim hinder innovation and damage the US economy. However, Read more

Richard Lloyd

19 Jan 2015

China’s future lies in its intellectual capital, not mass patent filings, says Randall Rader

Released last month, the World IP Organisation’s 2014 World IP Indicators report shows that China’s State IP Office (SIPO) received 825,136 patent applications in 2013, making it the world’s largest patent office in terms of filings for the third year in a row with 32.1% of the global total. For SIPO, this represents a massive 26.4% increase in applications compared to 2012. While some of this extraordinary growth may well be accounted for by a leap in inventive Read more

Jack Ellis

18 Jan 2015

Figures show clearly that PTAB petitions are a high-tech, big boys game - UPDATE

Hot on the heels of its 2014 US patent litigation survey – which showed a fall in suits and an especially dramatic drop in NPE activity in the third and fourth quarters – Unified Patents has produced a set of statistics on last year’s activity at the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB). In contrast to patent lawsuits, petitions to the board challenging the validity of patents rose sharply, with 1,675 filed - more than double the 2013 total.  This is what Read more

Joff Wild

16 Jan 2015

How patents and licensing underpin the multi-trillion dollar mobile communications economy

A new report has outlined the crucial roles that long-term R&D, a robust IP system and a collaborative approach to technology standards and licensing have played in the development of the mobile sector. The report by the Boston Consulting Group, Entitled The mobile revolution: How mobile technologies drive a trillion-dollar impact, was commissioned by Qualcomm and its timing is clearly meant to have some impact on Washington DC’s Capitol Hill as legislators start to consider another Read more

Richard Lloyd


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