IPWatchdog.com is in the process of transitioning to a newer version of our website. Please be patient with us while we work out all the kinks.

Posts Tagged: "patent monetization"

Panelists Weigh in On the Future of Patent Monetization

On the penultimate day of IPWatchdog’s CON2020, a session titled “The Future of Monetization” featured a panel of experts discussing how the changing patent policy landscape in the United States continues to alter business models and monetization strategies for associated patents worldwide. The panelists discussed what the future of patent monetization looks like and factors influencing expectations of success. Gene Quinn
, President & CEO of IPWatchdog, Inc., asked each panelist their viewpoint on whether monetization of patents is getting better, worse, or staying the same. Daniel Papst, Managing Director and Co-Owner of Papst Licensing GmbH & Co., said that he is hopeful things will become better in the future.  “The most dire times are behind us; it looks like the market is filled with more liquidity. There have always been portfolios out there that appear to be worth monetizing, and the courts, especially in the U.S., seem to be getting a little more rational again.”

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).

Succeeding With Consistent Portfolio Audits

To keep pace with competitors, businesses must constantly monitor, adjust, and streamline their patent portfolios. Doing so ensures that portfolios deliver the maximum potential return on investment by staying aligned with corporate goals, industry and technology developments, and growth areas across industries and businesses. This process requires managers to adjust the makeup their portfolios to maintain effective coverage in specific areas and eliminate or reduce low-value patents to minimize maintenance… There are four goals that can be achieved through portfolio audits: streamlining portfolios; ensuring portfolios are well-positioned, positioning portfolios for optimal monetization, and ensuring the portfolio provides sufficient coverage without excess. Portfolio audits may help identify strengths and gaps.

A Surreal Endeavor: Asserting Patent Rights in the U.S.

Asserting patent rights is a surreal endeavor these days. While the statistics on survival at the PTAB are improving, with the percentage of initiated proceedings declining and some patents seeing their claims affirmed, the cost and time necessary for a patentee to claw their way back to the district court—i.e., back to Square One—proves too much for many patentees. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) to fight at the PTAB simply to confirm issued patent claims is pushing many patentees out of the enforcement market. With such oppressive legal hurdles and costs, what good is a patent? For many, it cannot be enforced?

Has the Patent System failed US tech companies?

Patent Monetization is a wake. The Patent System failed US tech companies. Licensing is dead. Patent values are zero – perhaps even negative…. The Silicon Valley elites have patent strangled start-ups and hire away their talent. There is no respect for patents at all. Zero. Nada. Ironic in view of the past creation of Silicon Valley where patents were, once upon a time, the driver of value accretion. Not anymore. Data is the new “oil” in them thar hills. If you have and can secure and sell data, you’ve got it made. Gee, sure hope you do not rely on patents to protect any of what you do to collect, secure and sell that data!

Patent-Based Financings: Unlocking Licensing Revenues While Mitigating IP Monetization Risks

Patent monetization has become nearly impossible for middle-market technology companies without engaging in some level of legal action. Management teams have consequently shied away from pursuing licensing opportunities, even when the revenue potential of a company’s intellectual property is compelling. While traditional debt and equity investors have an aversion to patent monetization stories, there are specialized investors willing to underwrite capital raises aimed at financing licensing revenue initiatives. By structuring these financings in a way that isolates monetization risk to the patent investor, companies can pursue licensing initiatives that have the potential to generate significant residual value for all stakeholders in the capital stack. In addition to capital, patent investors bring monetization expertise that can play a critical role in the success of a licensing revenue strategy… In many contexts, licensing revenues will only persist so long as the underlying patents remain valid. Increasingly, however, licensees and strategic third parties seek to invalidate patents in Inter Partes Review, rather than continue to pay or renew patent licenses. The uncertainty of future revenue streams further justifies financing structures that ameliorate such risk.

The changing face of university technology transfer

Today (TTOs) are increasingly being run by professionals who are experienced in startups, licensing, monetizing and have tremendous depth of technical knowledge in a variety of fields. But they are all waging a losing battle in an industry where 73% of the offices are losing money and an additional 16% just breakeven. It is not because of the efficiency of these offices, it is because of the underlying business model… But the impact of technology transfer on the US economy has been enormous. Since 1980 more than 5,000 startups have been created. From 1996-2013 technology transfer has contributed $518 billion on the US gross domestic product, and $1.1 trillion on the US gross industrial output.

A patent without enforcement value has no licensing value

Enforcement of patents through litigation occurs when licensing has failed to result in an arms length negotiated resolution. In other words, patent owners resort to litigation when there is a market failure… When Keller says that the value of a patent is inextricably tied to the value obtainable through litigation that is just an economic truism. If the patent has no value when enforced in litigation, whether because the subject matter of the innovation has become patent ineligible, or because of a bias that tends toward finding practically everything obvious, the patent has no enforcement value. These litigation realities spill over into the business dealings because a patent that has no enforcement value will have necessarily have no licensing value.

A Repeatable Approach To Portfolio Monetization

To successfully monetize a patent portfolio, it is incredibly important to identify value within it, and to put in the work to prove to third parties and potential partners that that value exists… With the data-driven part of the mining exercise complete, the appropriate subset of patents can be turned over to the SMEs for evaluation of patent strength and enforceability. SMEs know the technology of a given field, they understand how technology has been implemented across multiple players in a given market, and they can reach a truly informed understanding about whether or not a given patent claim is being used in end product, whether or not that use can be detected, and what issues may be encountered in detection.

Marathon Patent restructuring will put Fortress subsidiary in charge of patent monetization

Marathon is transferring certain parts of its intellectual property portfolio to newly created special-purpose entities (SPEs), which would give greater control over patent monetization strategies to a financial partner of Marathon… DBD’s parent company Fortress Investment Group LLC, who has been making interesting forays into patent licensing operations in recent years. Marathon is only one of several patent monetization companies in which Fortress made investments through its DBD subsidiary.

Seven Hallmarks of a Rational Global Patent Strategy

Faced with ever-shrinking budgets and mounting pressure from the C-suite to demonstrate intellectual property (IP) value, many enterprises have jettisoned a once-prevailing global patent strategy: “File anywhere in the world where we or our competitors manufacture or sell products.” In view of the substantial costs of global patent protection, enterprises should pursue protection only when, and where, a value proposition can be rationally articulated. Thus, seven hallmarks of a rational global patent strategy are as follows…

Patent Market Trends and the Key Factors Impacting Patent Valuation

While patent portfolios are entering the market other patent portfolios continue to leave the market having been purchased. Asking prices seem to have also reached an equilibrium point, according to Kent Richardson of the ROL Group. There are buyers on the market looking for good portfolios, both tech companies who themselves have thin patent portfolios who are looking to back-fill their portfolios. Some non-practicing entities that had previously left the market have also started to come back as buyers over the last 12 to 18 months, at least kicking tires and strategically acquiring where the assets are strong and the price is right.

Does Your IP Strategy Need a Tune-Up?

While many, if not most, enterprises have instituted, and are executing, an IP strategy of some sort, an important question should be considered: Is the IP strategy optimal, such that its execution extracts maximum value from company technology? Some corporate IP strategies may seem sound in theory, but in practice they are (a) selectively or inconsistently applied within or across projects, (b) incompatible with how teams actually work, (c) relatively narrow in how they perceive innovation, and (d) distracting to innovators and IP practitioners while consuming enormous resources. Ultimately, the return on IP investment of such strategies may be questionable. However, enterprises that periodically take a step back to reflect on their current IP strategies, and recalibrate them if appropriate, are likely to derive the greatest possible value from IP.

What is the best way to assess the potential value of a patent portfolio?

What is the best way to assess the potential value or use of a patent portfolio? Before we examine this, it’s important to clarify that a patent only has value in the context of its place in a portfolio and in how the portfolio is used to support the organization’s business strategy. Let’s look at two examples. A Patent Assertion Entity will evaluate patent value based solely on the potential revenue that will come from a licensing program. On the other hand, an operating company typically places a higher value on patents that provide protection. This can be the ability to defend leadership in a profitable market category or the ability to offer protection as a sole-sourced product’s revenue stream.

Free Webinar: Assessing the Current State of Patent Value

Join Gene Quinn and Ashley Keller on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 12pm ET for a discussion on the current state of patent value. We will take your questions, as well as discuss the following: (1) Patent eligibility at the Federal Circuit; reasons for hope. (2) The outlook for innovators and patent owners in Q4 2016 and Q1 2017. (3) Patent Reform: what is likely to happen and how could it impact value and monetization strategies.