Are You Bullish or Bearish on the 2020 Patent Market?

By Gene Quinn
February 11, 2020

“’While the Patent Trial and Appeal Board continues to do truly bizarre things in certain cases, institution rates have decreased, and initiatives spearheaded by USPTO Director Iancu have made it much more difficult to bring harassing, serial and follow-on challenges,’ so there are signs of hope for the 2020 patent market.” – Gene Quinn

IPWatchdog CON2020 Poll: Are You Bullish or Bearish on the 2020 Patent Market? https://depositphotos.com/260867400/stock-photo-stock-market-predictions-financial-concept.html

Are you bullish or bearish on the 2020 patent market? That is the question I asked a panel of experts recently. Each of the experts surveyed will participate on the faculty at IPWatchdog CON2020, which will take place in Dallas, TX from March 15-18.

All those industry insiders who responded are bullish, which is an interesting change after many years of insiders being bearish, or at best cautiously optimistic. Indeed, the sentiment expressed across the board by experts from both the monetization / licensing world and litigation world is surprising, at least at first glance. And, as you will read below, while at least several people cited the uncertainty around patent eligibility in the United States, there is real optimism because license deals are getting done and policy changes show evolutionary changes in the IP ecosystem.

It can be all too easy to become cynical about the state of patent eligibility when one focuses on the trees (i.e., each case) rather than the forest (i.e., system wide developments). Similarly, while the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to do truly bizarre things in certain cases, the institution rates have decreased, and initiatives spearheaded by USPTO Director Iancu have made it much more difficult to bring harassing, serial and follow-on challenges. For example, the Precidential Opinion Panel (POP) made Valve Corp. v. Electronic Scripting Products. Inc. precedential under Standard Operating Procedure #2, thereby making the General Plastics factors applicable to different and joint petitioners. Likewise, the United States Department of Justice, USPTO and National Institutes of Technology and Standards (NIST) have changed the public dialogue relating to standard essential patents and the need for injunctive relief. So, while at first the unanimity of opinion seemed surprising, it is encouraging that these experts see signs of hope and are bullish on 2020.

[[Advertisement]]

Russell Binns
Allied Security Trust

I am bullish on the 2020 patent market.  After many years of uncertainty, and a bottoming out of the patent market, I think 2020 is going to provide more certainty around Section 101 and other areas of the law (and possibly some reform) and a greater focus on quality over quantity.  If patent prosecution isn’t treated as a commodity, and more like the art it is, then we will have a focus on patents that are easier to understand, prove infringement, and avoid invalidity, which will make more valuable assets that are easier to transact, all in the spirit of the Supreme Court Nautilus case.

Russell Binns is CEO & General Counsel for Allied Security Trust, a Delaware Statutory Trust that identifies, analyzes and purchases high-technology patents being sold on the market. He will be speaking at IPWatchdog CON2020 about IP transactions and portfolio management.

Michael Gulliford
Soryn IP Group

For the first time in a long time, I am confident that the IP ecosystem is heading in the right direction. The sounds of progress are certainly faint, but if you put your ear to the wall they can be heard.  The mainstream press, for example, has finally woken to the reality that inspired me to found Soryn in the first place — the anti-patent troll movement hasn’t just succeeded in putting some bad actors out of business, it has also spawned a patent system that affords little protection for those companies and universities that must rely on their patents to protect products, drive revenue and raise investment. That mainstream news outlets are acknowledging this dynamic is a step towards correction.

And there’s more.  A host of administrative and judicial tweaks to the IPR system resulted in a measurable drop in IPR filings last year. The Federal Circuit’s Berkheimer decision has at least given software patent owners a chance at life in district court, with Rule 12 grant rates down to around 50%.  And companies like Sonos have begun to tell lawmakers what we already know.  For many of our most innovative companies, the day will come when business realities make it necessary to disclose delicate technical details to someone with significantly more market power.  But as things currently stand, there is no way to do so without risking eventual ruin because patents are simply not respected.  It sounds depressing, but we should find comfort in the fact that because of companies like Sonos, the truth is finally getting out and folks are finally starting to pay attention.  There can be no change without such acknowledgment.

Michael Gulliford is the Founder of the patent advisory firm Soryn IP Group, as well as its sister company Soryn Capital, which invests significant capital in a host of patent-centric strategies. He will be speaking at IPWatchdog CON2020 about how IP is an asset class and valuing IP assets.

Daniel Papst

Daniel Papst
Papst Licensing GmbH & Co.

Moderately though, e.g. given a probable standstill on 101 legislation in the US due to election year. The IPR regime slowly keeps getting a more levelled playing field thanks to the USPTO director. The German Supreme Court will rule on the holdup challenge of the UPC and give way to an efficient and streamlined Court. Damages are on the rise and patents (also in the US) will get closer to what they once were – a right to exclude!

Daniel Papst is the Managing Director and Co-Owner of Papst Licensing GmbH & Co., a licensing company that monetizes national and international patents. He will be speaking at IPWatchdog CON2020 about the future of monetization.

Kent Richardson

Kent Richardson
Richardson Oliver Law Group

Bullish. I believe we have passed low tide for patent value and we are on the way up. We use our own data and surveys to help inform our opinions. Our data says that patent prices are stabilizing and that the market is becoming more predictable. Also, we surveyed about 15 IP executives and asked two questions. First, if you thought you had to take a license, would you rather do it now or three years from now? The answer came back almost unanimously “Now!” This means that potential licensees believe that patents will strengthen over the next three years. Secondly, we asked whether they thought, over the next year, the patent market would expand, contract, or stay the same. Well over half thought the market would expand or stay the same. So, I’m bullish.

Kent Richardson is a Partner with the Richardson Oliver Law Group. Kent counsels clients on a variety of patent and business matters including patent buying, selling, licensing, valuation, prosecution, and operations. He will be speaking at IPWatchdog CON2020 about IP transactions and portfolio management.

Jamie Underwood

Jamie Underwood
Latham & Watkins

I am bullish on the 2020 patent market.  The US patent regime remains a stalwart leader in meaningful IP protections.  Innovators from far and wide think so, too, if one believes that people vote with their feet.  In 2019, the USPTO issued the most patents ever granted in a single year in American history.  Nearly half of the 333,530 patents awarded went to US-based companies, but Japan, South Korea, China, and Germany also received a considerable number of those grants.  The most recent International IP Index, once again, ranked the United States as the strongest overall IP system in the world and as the second strongest patent system (tied with Japan, South Korea, and Switzerland).  Even in the midst of the polarized paradigm between owner and implementer, the United States is finding greater equilibrium in its patent enforcement.  For example, the USPTO and DOJ’s Antitrust Division revised their views on injunctive relief and FRAND commitments, now opining that SEP holders may seek such relief without violating FRAND, while still recognizing that those issues may impact the ultimate remedial assessment.  PTAB policy changes have brought institution rates and outcomes into greater balance as well, and the reduced threat of invalidation therefrom should prompt more patent holders to pursue suits in district court.  For patent holders that still find success in district court elusive, the United States also offers an option replicated in no other country – the US International Trade Commission, which can provide sweeping injunctive relief for the expedient redress from named infringers, or, in certain circumstances, from an entire US market segment.  These relative strengths will not falter in 2020. While stakeholders, no doubt, must grapple with complex challenges regarding Section 101, AI, and potential legislative reforms, to name a few, these challenges are reflective of the evolutionary potency of US patent rights, rather than their shortcomings. 

Jamie Underwood is a Partner and Global IP Strategist in Latham & Watkins’ Intellectual Property Litigation and International Trade Commission (ITC) Practices. She has also participated on the global trade stage as an NGO delegate to multiple World Trade Organization Ministerial Conferences, and also currently serves as the President-Elect for the Federal Circuit Bar Association. Jamie will be speaking at IPWatchdog CON2020 about injunctive relief in patent infringement litigation, as well as solutions for the U.S. patent system.

Annsley Merelle Ward

Annsely Merelle Ward
WilmerHale

I am bullish. I expect 2020 to be very active for the patent market. Some personal predictions: Pressing global environmental, health and equality challenges will invigorate and accelerate innovation and patent filings in 2020.  Global patent battles in telecoms will continue to find jurisdictional footing as courts wrangle with forum arguments. There will be more industry collaborations – patent and know-how sharing platforms, patent pools and dispute resolution mechanisms to overcome perceived inefficiencies of traditional models of licensing and litigation. Companies (and countries) will continue to jostle for 5G/IoT market share.

Annsley Merelle Ward is an Attorney with Wilmer Hale, and blogger with IPKat.com, where she has been widely known as the AmeriKat for more than a decade. She will be speaking at IPWatchdog CON2020 about hot issues for 2020 and beyond, as well as the patent gender gap.

 

Image Source: Deposit Photos
Image ID: 260867400

Copyright: YAYImages

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 29 Comments comments.

  1. Pro Say February 11, 2020 6:21 pm

    How do untold 1,000’s of inventors, patent owners, startups, and other innovators spell hope?

    A.L.I.C.E.X.I.T.

  2. angry dude February 11, 2020 7:02 pm

    Gene,

    Who are these people ???
    April Fool’s day is almost 2 months from now to publish such nonsense

    With no 101 resolution in sight and your own admission of Congress critters not willing to do anything to even slightly reverse Ebay decision (other then doing lip service to inventors when introducing new bills which are dead on arrival…) how can anyone be bullish on patents ???

    Why don’t you ask Paul Morinville or Josh Malone (or me, angry dude) ?

  3. Concerned February 11, 2020 9:10 pm

    It is hard to be bullish on patents after reading the rejections I keep receiving, which are not substantiated.

    A manual process automated. What manual process, there has never been a manual process to automate or expedite? Nor was a manual process offered as proof by the examiner.

    Routine, conventional and well understood yet nobody on Earth is doing the process as a whole or doing the inventive concept independently. Nor did the examiner offer proof to substantiated his accusation.

    No practical application after the examiner admits twice in writing it solved a problem in place since the existence of the program now in its 64th year.

    No preemption on the abstract idea per the examiner after addressing only 3 of the 14 meaningful limitations.

    I hope things turn around with patents one day and I know they must. But I am personally not seeing any thing bullish in my persecution. The patent system seems to be very questionable for the small time inventor at this time.

    I imagine if I was a patent attorney I would have to put a smiley face on the situation for this article. I hope I am wrong.

  4. James Convoy February 11, 2020 11:23 pm

    The year took off with one of the biggest patent lawsuit verdict. What more do you wish for? Though I hope NPAs at the bay this year for some time to give true inventors some breathing space. PS: Saw this video explaining patents, liked it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJR5BinAbAA

  5. angry dude February 12, 2020 12:01 am

    I hope everyone here watched “Flash of Genius” movie – a must watch movie for every inventor

    After Bob Kearns was robbed of his original patented windshield wiper design by the Ford Motor’s executive in a bright daylight, Bob is having this conversation with his patent attorneys:

    “Their story is that they
    went with another design,
    one they had in the
    works before ours.

    Yeah, and that’s…
    – Or yours.

    …just what it is.
    It’s a story.

    It’s a goddamn lie.

    Come on.

    No, no, I took apart
    one of their motors, Gil.

    You know what I found inside?
    Transistors, capacitors, variable resistors.

    Now, that is my design!

    What about the patents?
    Aren’t they worth anything?

    Legally, they’re
    Previck’s patents.

    What is that
    supposed to mean?

    Nothing. It’s
    a technical term.

    Barney’s putting together
    another letter. It’s tougher.

    You can take a look at
    it once it’s drafted.

    Another letter?

    A letter? Gil, they
    stole this from us!

    Whoa! Let’s be careful
    with our language.

    Let’s not use words
    like “steal.”

    Who the hell is this guy?
    Huh?

    Bob…

    Who the hell are you?
    What’s your angle?”

    Who the hell are these people and what is their angle ???

    Patent attorneys with large firms trying to put lipstick on a pig

  6. MaxDrei February 12, 2020 4:18 am

    All seems very plausible. Everything, that is, except the announcement by one of your commentators that the German Constitutional Court will reject the complaint about the pan-European Patent Court. Somebody with rose-tinted spectacles has been leading him up the garden path, I would say.

  7. Pro Se February 12, 2020 12:52 pm

    In the trenches: IPRs are not being used as the “boogie man” threat anymore like they were 3 years ago. But, anyone fresh fish in the patent enforcement field will need to beat a minimum of 3 filed challenges before anyone will start to respect the strength of a patent for any “nuisance” license amounts over $50,000.

    The PTAB slaughter over the last 5 years HAS destroyed all of the boutique firms that would do contingency for indie inventors.

    So really, these days if a indie inventor had a patent claim, they can’t get anyone to represent them on contingency because no one wants to deal with the inevitable fist 3-5 IPR petitions necessary to beat just to get to the possibility of taking the $50,000 low-ball settlements, because District Court judges are now worse than the PTAB in patent fairness… Judges are fatigued by all of the patent confusion and defense lawyers play on that fatigue… and push Judges to make personal decisions on the patentee rather than legal ones.

    So much more to point out here.. but if you are a patent owners that don’t have a $1mln retainer in hand already….

    Sorry, the U.S. patent system no longer exist for you.

  8. MaxDrei February 12, 2020 4:45 pm

    That which fails to kill you makes you stronger. Prospective initiators of IPR’s know this. So when an IPR is filed, for good money, the filer expects to succeed.

    Ergo, the availability of IPR is in itself a litmus test, which patents are going to stand up in court, and which not. Every investor is thankful for such a litmus test, no?

  9. angry dude February 12, 2020 6:27 pm

    MaxDrei @8

    I call BS on you, dude

    IPRs are filed to drain smaller patent holder’s bank account

    To make them go bankrupt if possible AND to put litigation on hold, of course

    As simple as that – nothing else

    There is no patent law left in the US, no real courts and no patent “investors” aka “trolls”

    Now you go about your business and stop posting your junk comments here, ok ?
    (Unless you are paid shill in which case you must make a disclaimer 🙂

  10. IP Realist February 12, 2020 10:57 pm

    FAANG Companies have been manipulating the system for far too long. Bullishness ONLY comes to the best patents that are being utilized in commercialized products and services. All other patents? It is a bear market and there is ZERO sign of a change.

  11. Ternary February 12, 2020 11:20 pm

    MaxDrei @8, that test is supposed to take place at the PTO. Not an never-ending hurdle race to see if you reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally have a valid patent. The assumption is (well should be) that one has a valid patent issued by the PTO that will stand up in court.

  12. Concerned February 13, 2020 5:38 am

    Ternary:

    I agree. The USPTO examiners throw unsubstantiated crap against the wall in hope something sticks, followed by infringers throwing one “Hail Mary” after another IPR at the inventor.

    Considering inventions do make life better for society, a person of reason would think the emphasis would be to encourage inventors, not disincentivize them with one hurdle after another.

    There seems to be no penalty for the cheap shots. And Atlas shrugged.

  13. angry dude #2 February 13, 2020 7:06 am

    my G angry dude, you tell em boss.

  14. Anon February 13, 2020 7:34 am

    Every investor is thankful for such a litmus test, no?

    Even IF one buys into the notion of “what does not kill you, makes you stronger,” why in the world would that make having to survive (and keep paying to survive) serial IPRs be something to be thankful for?

    THE MOST that the patent holder can get “out of the deal” is what they had BEFORE ‘the deal.’

    Tell you what, MaxDrei, for every post you make, send five dollars to Gene Quinn for him to put into a neutral account. That won’t kill you, right? Since it won’t kill you, it must make you stronger, right? How could YOU not like that ‘litmus test’ (even without knowing any more as to what happens to that five dollars per post).

    Then, if I can reply with ANY cogent point that shows some inanity of your post, I get to have that five dollars. This way, you are prompted to make posts that stand up to NOT being inane, and everybody wins.

    IF your post pasts the litmus test, then the five dollars is returned to you. Then you have a post that is not inane, passes the litmus test, and your posts have become stronger.

    How can you NOT jump at this deal?

    And according to your ‘logic,’ we can bump that “$5” as high as possible without killing you, and such would serve to make you ever stronger.

    How high would you be willing to go?

  15. MaxDrei February 13, 2020 8:43 am

    In answer to Comments 9, 10 and 11, I say that the problem is not that the law gives parties the chance to initiate an IPR but, rather, how the legislative branch, the executive branch and the judicature have set “the Rules” under which an IPR is conducted.

    See, ever since 1978, parties have been filing post-issue oppositions at the EPO. The procedure is robust and cheap, so why is it that few resort to it? Answer: if you try and fail to wipe out the patent, it makes the patent stronger, and consequently more quickly and more uncompromisingly enforced by the Courts whenever they are asked to oblige. Which Opponent wants to dig for himself that particular hole?

    You say that the USPTO, in ex Parte Proceedings prior to issue, can correctly assess the validity of every pending Claim. Dream on! Only competitors in the same industry as the patent owner can soundly critique the validity of a claim. That’s because they know oh so much more than the Ivory Tower USPTO Examiner About the common general knowledge possessed by the notional PHOSITA. Hence, validity only crystallizes after full-blown inter Partes Proceedings have flushed out the relevant facts.

    Europe doesn’t do punitive damages. Generally, parties assert their patents in order to get injunctive relief. Given the possibility (in the USA alone) for a patent owner to “hit the jackpot”, one would think that owners of US patents not vulnerable to a finding of invalidity would suffer no lack of financial backing. Successive IPR’s that try but fail, ought to ratchet up the market value of the patent under siege.

  16. Night Writer February 13, 2020 10:36 am

    What’s happened is that there has been a minor relief because Trump appointed the USPTO director. Had HRC been elected we would in effect no longer have patents. And if Bernie or another D gets elected that doesn’t believe in patents, then we will get another director that will try to limit the patent right as much as possible. Another judicial activist CAFC judge that believes that patents are evil and we won’t have much of a system left. Obama did irreparable harm to the patent system with the judges and AIA.

    Plus the other thing that has happened, which is really weird, is that companies are still care a bit about patents because they want us to file PCTs and then get patents in KR, CN, JP, and at the EPO (DE, UK, etc.) so they can enforce the patents in those countries.

  17. Anon February 13, 2020 11:00 am

    MaxDrei,

    Yet again, you view US Sovereign law through the spectacles of the EP law that you are familiar with.

    I put no value in your “analysis” of what is “wrong” here.

  18. Anon February 13, 2020 11:03 am

    MaxDrei,

    Yet again, you view US Sovereign law through the spectacles of the EP law that you are familiar with.

    I put no value in your “analysis” of what is “wrong” here.

    For example, your ‘fall back’ to the “make you stronger’ is the notion that a court will be incentivized to rule more readily for the patent holder.

    This ignores entirely the plain fact that US courts are just not so dispositioned.

    Your spectacles may well improve your (EP) vision. It is a blatant error to merely suppose that they will improve everyone else’s vision.

  19. Anon February 13, 2020 11:08 am

    Another point — of law:

    You say that the USPTO, in ex Parte Proceedings prior to issue, can correctly assess the validity of every pending Claim. Dream on!

    Our Sovereign has chosen differently. I know that you are aware of the presence and level of the Presumption of Validity (in part because I have berated you previously on that concept).

    You just don’t get to elevate your personal feelings over the law that our Sovereign has chosen. And yet, you are adamant in attempting to do so — relentlessly, no matter how many times you are corrected.

    It is this type of behavior of yours that creates for you the notion that you are but an empty shill.

  20. Anon February 13, 2020 11:20 am

    Yet another error — in law — from you, MaxDrei:

    That’s because they know oh so much more than the Ivory Tower USPTO Examiner About the common general knowledge possessed by the notional PHOSITA.

    You have imprudently dismissed MANY wrinkles in differences between the US Sovereign and the backyard with which you may be familiar with.

    One of these is the difference in Quid Pro Quo and the subsequent role of the Examiner.

    For you, the Quid Pro Quo is the (mere) exchange of the chance for examination for publication.

    For the US Sovereign, the Quid Pro Quo is different. Here, the basis is the turning of the innovator’s inchoate right into a full legal property right in exchange for publication.

    Thus, the very heart of our system speaks differently as to legally what an Examiner is doing.

    It matters not one iota that you feel that it must take the crucible of litigation to have a “truly valid” patent.

    Such is simply not so — as a matter of law.

    You also mention — but brush over without critical review — notions of injunctions and “hitting the jackpot.”

    Neither of these operate here as your spectacles inform your vision.

    How often have you been taken to school on such matters, only to purposefully ignore what has been attempted to have been taught to you?

  21. Jam February 13, 2020 1:07 pm

    IPRs are really just a method of organizing human behavior and, as such, should be rejected for being nothing more than an abstract idea.

    As silly as this argument is, it is exactly the same arguments courts are using to kill patents. E.g., Patent 9,999,000 “Minimizing interference caused by high-powered uplink transmissions” is nothing more than minimizing radio interference, which is what HAM radio operators have been doing for decades. Each step can be performed by a human behavior (e.g., an engineer turning a screwdriver or flipping a switch). Therefore, the claims are directed to methods of organizing human behavior and should be rejected as abstract ideas.

    Under 103 and KSR, do a word search for “minimizing” and a word search for “interference”, take the top two choices and reject under 103 because KSR. Even if this were weak, the patent wouldn’t have survived 101, so might as well let it die under a bad 103 argument to make up for the fact that a 101 argument can’t be made.

  22. angry dude February 13, 2020 2:55 pm

    Night Writer @16

    Good points, dude

    But I would add that there is no real difference between Dems and Reps in the House or Senate as far as patent rights are involved – they are all deeply corrupted by their SV and other campaign donors
    well …. some or even most of them,.. the others are lunatics like Bernie

    The point you bring about US companies pursuing foreign patent filings – it’s not gonna last
    In this age of globalization unless patent systems between different countries are somehow “harmonized” and economically leveled it is the USA that is going to be on the loosing end of this battle at the end .. and the end is coming… and very soon..
    There is no way any US-based smaller hi-tech company can compete with Shenzhen on price … even Russian companies in provincial Russia can’t…
    The only way to compete is on innovation
    Canceling US patent system will bring US high-tech down and very soon
    Tariffs won’t help
    And it does not matter that Apple’s Foxconn sweatshop factories are located in Shenzhen or elsewhere in China
    America is not not just Apple or Silicon Valley – it is much bigger
    And China is a many times bigger than US
    And if you add other countries like Russia, Germany, France, England, Japan, South Korea etc etc….
    China can eat all of the Apples and Amazons and Googles and IBMs for free breakfast now
    The reason it’s not happening yet is because US dollar is still kind of “official” world currency
    Too many assets are denominated in USD so too much potential financial damage to both sides…

    BUT it will happen sooner or later

  23. Ternary February 13, 2020 4:12 pm

    MaxDrei
    “Only competitors in the same industry as the patent owner can soundly critique the validity of a claim.”
    and:
    Only criminals can soundly critique criminal law.
    Only tax-avoiders can soundly critique tax law.
    Only polluters can soundly critique environmental law.
    and of course:
    Only infringers can soundly critique patent law.

    Perhaps you do have a better understanding of American law than we do.

  24. Anon February 13, 2020 9:29 pm

    Perhaps you do have a better understanding of American law than we do.

    Given the numerous examples of the very opposite prior to your post, Ternary, I can only presume that you are waiving around one of the largest ever “sign” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony_punctuation ).

  25. Ternary February 14, 2020 8:22 am

    Anon, I first thought that MaxDrei was perhaps being ironic. But it seems he wasn’t.

  26. Anon February 14, 2020 12:36 pm

    Ternary,

    Having dealt with MaxDrei over the course of many years now, he is simply too dull-witted to be purposefully ironic.

  27. angry dude February 14, 2020 11:21 pm

    Night Writer @16

    “Plus the other thing that has happened, which is really weird, is that companies are still care a bit about patents because they want us to file PCTs and then get patents in KR, CN, JP, and at the EPO (DE, UK, etc.) so they can enforce the patents in those countries.”

    This comment is really important – US companies care about foreign PCT filings MORE than they care about domestic US patents (which can’t be enforced at present as we all know…)

    Everyone should pause for a second to grasp the reality of this…

    This is not just weird – it’s completely backwards and won’t last, of course

    There is no way a US company in SV or even much cheaper area like upstate NY can compete on R&D costs (mostly salaries but also rents, equipment and materials) with a similar-sized company in China, Korea or Russia
    Yet many US companies pay more attention to patent protection overseas than to domestic (unenforceable at present) US patents…
    There is a saying: OLD HABITS DIE HARD
    This practice can’t be economically sustainable… it is downright economically stupid in this day and age of globalization

    So each time I get a friendly advice to file in China or Germany or elsewhere in the world and NOT in the US…
    I ask myself: What the hell am I still doing in this country called USA then ???
    Fishing I guess…

  28. angry dude February 14, 2020 11:59 pm

    Night Writer @16

    Also, how could I forget ?

    Those foreign countries you mentioned have their own patent offices and their own patent attorneys so they have no use of US patent attorneys at all – other than initial PCT filings…

    Last time I remember I was communicating directly with EU patent attorney in Paris (I later dropped the EPO filing … maybe I should have kept it ?)
    My US patent attorney had absolutely zero business with that other than initial PCT filing and referral which I didn’t even need…

  29. Night Writer February 16, 2020 7:19 am

    @28 angry dude

    Our clients are mixed. Some have shifted the work to the foreign countries completely, some have mixed it so that we do the PCT and then the foreign associates to the rest, others give us the work to prepare the PCT and then direct the foreign associates to get the patents.

    Of course all enforcement outside the USA is lost to foreign associates. Or almost all of it.

    It is a flip around where now some clients see the USA as if it is a country without IP rights and the other countries have IP rights that can be enforced.