LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) announced this week that the professional social networking giant is now valued at $8.79 Billion, roughly 38 times sales figures reported in 2010, after it’s first day as a publicly traded company on May 18. This may be hard to believe by many because LinkedIn has never reported being profitable, nor have they ever made more than $250 million in any one year. However, within minutes of LinkedIn’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 7.84 million shares priced at $45, the shares doubled in price and at one point in the day LinkedIn stock peaked in excess of $122 per share. In fact when the stock market closed on day one, shares last traded at $96 per share and on day two shares last traded at $93.09 per share.
IPWatchdog.com founder Gene Quinn has recently spoken at several events. On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, he gave the ethics lecture at the PLI Patent Litigation 2014 program in New York City. On Monday, November 17, 2014, he gave a presentation titled Dark Days Ahead: The Patent Pendulum at the Orange County Bar Association in Newport Beach, California. These powerpoint presentations are available below. If you would like Gene to speak to your group or at your event let us know by using this contact form.
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Herb Wamsley is the Executive Director of the Intellectual Property Owners Association, and recently I had the opportunity to catch up with him to go on the record. Wamsley was in Brussels, Germany ahead of the International Judges Conference, sponsored by the IPO Education Foundation. Upon return from this trip there will be no travel rest for Wamsley though. He will receive the enormously prestigious Jefferson Medal on June 3, 2011, placing him in elite company within our industry, including past winners Judge Giles Sutherland Rich, Chief Judge Howard Markey, Chief Judge Paul Michel, Chief Judge Randall Rader, Donal Chisum, Karl Jorda, Senator Orrin Hatch, Dr. Triantafyllos Tafas and many other distinguished industry contributors.
The topic of my interview with Wamsley was the IPO Education Foundation’s search for the National Inventor of the Year. For 38 years the IPO has annually recognized an inventor, or inventive team, for remarkable achievement. Past winners have been independent inventors, University researchers and inventors employed by corporations. Unlike some other career honors, such as the Inventors Hall of Fame and the National Medal of Technology, the IPO seeks to honor inventors for contemporaneous inventions. The ideal nominee is one who had a successful innovation recently patented and recently commercialized, thus giving contemporary heroes of invention recognition for their endeavors.
It’s not easy being a technology startup. There are many challenges, including racing towards product and business development milestones, recruitment and management of employees, funding goals and restraints, fierce competition from big and small competitors, changing legal and regulatory landscapes – just to name a few.
One of the costliest mistakes a startup can make is mismanaging intellectual property rights. A company needs to not only manage its own IP rights, but also avoid those of third parties, including competitors. To be on the safe side, therefore, intellectual property management should include efficiently protecting the startup’s IP rights while also avoiding the IP rights of others.
It doesn’t roll off the tongue quite like the famous Shakespearean line — “to be or not to be: that is the question” — the opening line of Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 3, Scene 1, but the question that some inventors will ask themselves is whether they should seek out licensing opportunities or follow the path of manufacturing and selling. Truthfully, many inventors probably don’t ask this and instead jump past this fundamental question and straight for the licensing revenue, but is that the best thing in the long run? Licensing takes a lot of work out of the monetization equation and minimizes risk, but foregoing manufacturing and pursuing licensing can significantly cut down on profit realized by the owner of the invention rights.
The question about whether to license or manufacture is one that should be asked by all inventors because there is no “right” or “wrong” answer. As a result, one-size-fits-all advice is not at all helpful. It is largely a question of resources, time commitment and personal preference.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in cooperation with the Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), today announced the launch of a new online database where U.S. government agencies are now posting information about the intellectual property rights (IPR) training programs they conduct around the world.
The Global Intellectual Property Education: Training Program Database was a product of the 2010 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. The Strategic Plan called for the creation of a central database in which agencies that conduct international intellectual property enforcement training could deposit training materials to promote greater coordination and avoid duplication of resources.
Congratulations are in order for the Google Legal Team! Yesterday Corporate Counsel announced that Google Inc. was selected as the winner of the 2011 Best Legal Department competition. United Parcel Service, Inc., and WellPoint, Inc., were also given honorable mention recognition. The detailed profiles of all three will be published in the magazine’s June issue and also available online.
This story caught my eye because Anthony Paonita, Editor in Chief of Corporate Counsel, cited the selection of Google as the winner due to the fact that the company “has had to deal with the sometimes messy consequences of its frequent marketplace disruptions.” Paonita went on to explain that the Google “win stems from these cases that “test the limits of laws perpetually lagging behind new technology. Can advertisers use trademarked terms in Google ads? Can Google scan and make available copyrighted but out-of-print books? Is the company liable if results of its search engine direct users to counterfeit or pirated products?” But wasn’t the resolution of the trademark terms a loss for Google at least indirectly? Isn’t the so-called Google Book Settlement on hold having been rejected by the district court? And didn’t Google just set aside $500 million to cover the cost of fines relating to an antitrust investigation initiated by the Department of Justice? See Google puts $500 million in antitrust pot.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office wants you, at least if you are a student looking for a externship for the summer.
The Patent and Trademark Office is once again sponsoring the USPTO Patent Experience Externship Program (PEEP) for the Summer of 2011. Time is extremely limited to get in an application. The deadline for making application to the program is Friday, May 20, 2011. The Office has already reportedly received numerous applications from students working toward a B.S. degree, from some working toward a Ph.D. and quite a few from law students working toward a Juris Doctor degree.
CORRECTION: 5/19/2011 @ 1:14pm ET (see bottom)
Most within the patent community who follow the blogs and read articles undoubtedly know that Hal Wegner seems to relish the opportunity to criticize me. I don’t read Hal’s newsletter because I don’t particularly like his brand of cantankerous writing, which seems laced with inaccuracies and misrepresentations. I do, however, get forwarded what he writes about me from time to time, and if what he writes about me and my opinions are typical for his newsletter I wonder why anyone reads what he writes. He is almost universally incorrect about what he says about me personally, what I have written and in order to achieve his point he uses ellipses and outright misrepresents my positions. Don’t get me wrong, I am appreciative that Hal is an avid reader of IPWatchdog.com, I am just perplexed by why he is unable to understand what I write and why he feels the need to cut me down at seemingly every opportunity.
Typically I let what Hal writes slide off my back because I don’t take him seriously. Having said that, the other day he did one of his trademark hatchet jobs on an article I wrote titled The Constitutional Underpinnings of Patent Law. This was actually the second Constitutional article I wrote in as many weeks. One week earlier I wrote Patents, Copyrights and the Constitution, Perfect Together. Hal’s newsletter, sent out with the subject “naive and wholly incorrect understandings,” grossly misrepresented my writings, and was incorrect on the law in places as well. That being the case, and given the particularly prickly and fallacious subject heading, I thought I might set the record straight. I think it is also time to challenge Hal to a debate so he will either put up or shut up.
Many will recall that back in March 2006, the much anticipated patent settlement between Research In Motion, Ltd. (RIM) and NTP, Inc. was finalized for $612.5 million. In the five plus years since that settlement there has been a lot of talk about patent trolls, who are now more frequently referred to by the rather sanitized term “non-practicing entities.” Numerous articles have been written about the plague of patent trolls and many attempts have been undertaken to whittle away at patent rights in an attempt to make it more difficult for non-practicing entities to monetize their patent rights. Meanwhile, practically every independent inventor now believes that they have an invention that some Mega-Giant company is infringing and which entitles them to tens of millions of dollars. After all NTP was successful.
Indeed, over the years since that great NTP-RIM settlement there has been enormous focus on the $600+ million amount, and little on what lead to that settlement and the aftermath of that settlement, which has changed the patent law landscape. In some corners when listening to inventors one might almost start to think that any small company with a patent could easily stand up and take on industry giants. This, after all, was the David and Goliath — NTP v. RIM, right? Not so fast. First, the case was not as simple as it may have seemed. Second, for every David with a patent portfolio, there are numerous Goliaths defending their market shares vigorously. Third, thanks to judicial dislike of patent trolls all non-practicing entities have suffered. In fact, it is now extremely difficult to obtain an injunction as a non-practicing entity.
The Subcommittee on Energy and Power held hearings earlier this month on “The American Energy Initiative.” The hearings provided an overview of the challenges and opportunities for alternative transportation fuels and vehicles. The hearing explored a number of issues, including the current status of the Renewable Fuel Standard, and implementation challenges facing regulators, producers, and marketers of renewable fuels. The hearing also discussed the prospects for meeting future conventional and advanced biofuels targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard, and issues related to their incorporation into the gasoline supply, as well as the current status of efforts to expand the use of natural gas and electric vehicles, the cost of driving, the economy, jobs, and national security.