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Ashleigh Nickerson Image

Ashleigh Nickerson

is an associate at Farella Braun + Martel representing companies in complex intellectual property and commercial disputes.

Recent Articles by Ashleigh Nickerson

Artificial Intelligence Can’t Patent Inventions: So What?

The USPTO’s recent landmark decision (16/524,350) concluding artificial intelligence (AI) cannot be a named patent inventor perhaps sparked fears of super-robots inventing critical technologies that, alas, receive no patent protection. If an AI identifies new, more efficient battery chemicals, will that new battery be unpatentable? If an AI builds chemical compounds that become the next wonder drug, will that drug-maker…

Tech Companies Should Strongly Consider Monetizing Their Patent Portfolios During the Economic Downturn

The COVID-19 pandemic and widespread shelter-in-place orders have hit every corner of the country’s economy, including tech companies of all sizes. Many tech companies have traditionally maintained large patent portfolios to enhance company value and for defensive reasons—i.e. to dissuade competitors from filing suit. But monetizing these dormant patent assets—which can cost a great deal to simply maintain—may provide a solution during these difficult economic times. We of course do not recommend asserting any IP right that could hinder a coronavirus cure or treatment. But for companies with large patent portfolios in computer, server, software, and other hardware-related technology, the economic times may be right to monetize those assets, and luckily, the law is trending in favor of patent holders both in district courts and before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).