Posts Tagged: "Licensing"

FTC Proposal for Regulating IP Will Harm Consumers

We conclude that the FTC has not identified sufficient evidence to raise serious doubt about the current efficiencies of the IP marketplace. Indeed, the available empirical evidence suggests that these existing rules and practices work well. The interests of consumers are well represented by standard setting organizations and competition among technology implementers who at the end of the day must make goods and services that people wish to purchase.

Antitrust Issues in College Athletics: Should Needle Apply

Earlier this month Dechert LLP, representing an undisclosed number of companies (“stakeholders”), sent a letter to IMG College (“IMG”) and its licensing division, the Collegiate Licensing Company (“CLC”), and demanded that IMG and CLC cease and desist any efforts to restrict the number of licensees permitted to supply merchandise bearing the brands of various NCAA colleges and universities. It looks likes trademark and antitrust issues are back on the menu in sports, which makes intellectual property nerds like me very happy. We all knew American Needle Inc. v. National Football League (“Needle”) would embolden private antitrust suits; it was just a question of when. But a pivotal question is should Needle be extended to permit private antitrust suits in collegiate athletics?

One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams into a Licensing Goldmine

But don’t quit your day job as you pursue a career in inventing! When I saw that in Key’s book (it appears early on) I knew the book was a winner. I can’t think of any better advice to provide, and it came with the familiar stories to make the lesson real. In our conversation Key said: “Like anything else you need to test the waters. You never want to put yourself in a situation where you are desperate. Inventing is something you can do while you are working.” So for goodness sake, have enough success under your belt that you have turned inventing into complete replacement income before ever making the decision to quit your day job.

Inventors: To License or To Manufacture – That is the Question

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 question 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.

NFL Players vs. Owners: A Hail Mary of a Lawsuit

About 10 years ago, the NFLP decided that they wanted Reebok (and only Reebok) to make hats with the teams’ logos on them. American Needle, Inc., a competitor of Reebok, had been making these types of hats for the NFL for a really long time, and as a result of the NFLP’s deal with Reebok, it lost its contract with NFLP to make said hats. American Needle, Inc. did not have much of a sense of humor about this and sued the NFL under Antitrust principles. Enter American Needle v. National Football League et al. Needle is a big case because if the NFL had gotten what it asked for, the player’s union wouldn’t have been able to decertify and the players wouldn’t have been able to bring an antitrust suit.

Intellectual Ventures: Independence Day Take II

Just like in the story-line of Independence Day, where the alien death ships slowly but surely positioned themselves over each major city, with the eventual outcome well understood, so too is Intellectual Ventures (I.V.) slowly positioning itself as the patent overlord over many major industry segments. Just like in the movie, the eventual outcome is well understood. To wit: Complete usurpation of the U.S. Patent system. The outcome is a ,gigantic tax/toll collector controlling the pulse of innovation in the U.S. or, like the movie, extermination of innovation.

AUTM Survey: University Licensing Strong Despite Economy

During fiscal year 2009, 596 new companies were formed as a result of university research, which is one more than the 595 formed in 2008 and 41 more than the 555 formed in 2007. The increase, while modest, does come despite a downturn in the U.S. and global economy, proving that even during a down economy good technology and innovation can and does create jobs. The AUTM survey also shows that invention disclosures continue to rise, patent applications are up, and during fiscal year 2009 there was a surprisingly high increase in foreign filings over fiscal year 2008.

Invention Prototypes, Prototyping & Prototype Basics

Like anything in life worth doing, the path of an independent inventor from initial stage idea to making money can be challenging. If it were easy then everyone would be a rich inventor. Luckily for those who have the determination to pursue innovation as a business it is not easy enough for anyone to do, which means that there are opportunities available. One of the keys to successfully making money as an inventor is understanding that those who are successful operate in a business responsible way, and this requires closely monitoring expenditure of funds. While you may want to rush out and build a prototype you need to be careful. There is nothing like the show and tell of a working prototype to lure investors, partners and licensing deals, but inventing is better viewed as a marathon than a 100 yard dash, and preserving capital is absolutely essential if you are going to be successful.

Converting Your Inventions to Dollars and Cents

How often have you felt you had a great invention that was just what the world was waiting for. Unfortunately, many would-be entrepreneurs are under the illusion that that is all they need for someone to beat a path to their doorstep, big check in hand. If only it were that easy! The average entrepreneur usually does not think about what is really necessary to make their invention a commercial success. As a result, their great ideas often fizzle before they ever have a chance to get to the marketplace.

Patent Reality Check: The Hypocrisy of Duke University on Patents

There are few things in this world that irritate me more than hypocrisy. Did you know that since 1976 Duke University has had 716 issued US patents, 266 of which in some way, shape or form relate to genetics and 156 of which relate in some way, shape or form relate to both genetics AND cancer. While Duke University throws Myriad Genetics under the bus over its patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes tied to breast and ovarian cancer, Duke has its own patent on identification and sequencing of the BRCA2 cancer susceptibility gene. How convenient!

IP Leaders Gather in Boston May 19-21 for LES Spring Meeting

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2010 – Hundreds of intellectual property (IP) business leaders will attend the Licensing Executives Society (USA & Canada) Spring Meeting May 19-21 in Boston. Themed, IP for Entrepreneurs and Universities, the meeting is uniquely designed for entrepreneurs, start-ups, investors, universities, labs and others who wish to learn about successful commercialization of early stage technologies. “We’ve tailored our…

Things I Learned: An Inventor’s Journey from Idea to Market

It generally takes a lot longer and costs a lot more to get an idea licensed. New ideas are hard to sell. The capable companies are not interested because they are generating their own ideas. The not-so-capable companies might be interested but would probably drop the ball. Most workers at these companies just want to make it through the day. An unfinished product looks more like work than an opportunity. It is also risky. Employees are not compensated for risks but are punished for failure.

Judge Pauline Newman Headlines All-Star PLI Program

Yes, a message from the shameless commerce division no doubt, but there are a handful of excellent PLI patent related programs coming up in February and March that deserve a mention.  After all, how often can one attend a program, get CLE credits and meet Federal Circuit Judge Pauline Newman?  Not all that often to be sure, but Judge Newman…

Study: Industry/University Partnerships Critical to Economy

A study released today by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) provides first-of-its-kind data on the importance of university/industry research and development partnerships to the U.S. economy. The study of university technology licensing from 1996 to 2007 shows a $187 billion dollar positive impact on the U.S. Gross National Product (GNP) and a $457 billion addition to gross industrial output, using…