Posts Tagged: "patent monetization"

Devil in Disguise: The Legend of the Villainous Patent Owners

It is truly a shame that so many have bought into the demonization of patent owners without any critical thought. In order to believe the narrative emanating from certain Silicon Valley giants you would have to believe the existence of helpless multinational, multi-billion dollar companies on their knees and wholly incapable of defending themselves against despicable independent inventors, diabolical universities, and monstrous scientific researchers. After all, looking to find a cure for cancer, or trying to figure out how to clean up the environment, or invent the next great kitchen gadget that will be the darling of QVC by definition makes someone vile, immoral, corrupt and down right sinful! A real devil in disguise!

How misleading scholarship contorts patent enforcement into a Patent Troll fable

One of the largest risks for a successful technology-based small business, startup, or individual inventor, is success itself—successful inventions invite predation by large market incumbents. The only protection many inventors have against loss of substantial investment in bringing a raw invention through the process of R&D, manufacturing, and establishing a market, is the patent system; patents provide the foundation of the market for inventions. For the patent system to work in “little guy vs. big guy” situations, the help of patent enforcement specialty firms is often required. This help must be financed, and often the best financing is through contingency arrangements, partnerships, or outright sale of the patents. For over a century, such patent intermediaries have provided important avenues for patent owners to keep control and coordinate investments and appropriate returns on their inventions. The patent enforcement-specialty firms of today are NPEs, more commonly referred to pejoratively as “patent trolls.”

Senate Judiciary Committee seeks balance on patent troll legislation

Earlier today the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on patent reform. The hearing was titled The Impact of Abusive Patent Litigation Practices on the American Economy. There was a variety of diverse views presented by the witnesses, including one witness, Krish Gupta, who continued to cite the bogus and thoroughly debunked Bessen-Meurer “study” that erroneously claims that patent trolls…

FTC Approves Final Order Barring PAE From Using Deceptive Tactics

The order bars the company, MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC, and its law firm from making deceptive representations when asserting patent rights. The settlement with MPHJ, announced in November 2014, is the first time the FTC has taken action using its consumer protection authority against a patent assertion entity.

Understanding the valuable role played by Patent Trolls

The U.S. economy is full of intermediaries everywhere you look. But for some reason we have demonized the intermediaries in the market for innovation. Think of it this way. Most people buy their groceries at a grocery story. That grocery store does not grow any of the vegetables, raise the meat, nor catch the fish. It is simply an intermediary. Now I can see why from the point of view of a manufacturer the PAE may be a nuisance. But from the inventor’s point of view the PAE is a valuable intermediary.

Professors Urge Caution on Patent Reform

Earlier today 40 economists and law professors wrote to Senate and House Judiciary leaders explaining that the data it that keeps being cited to justify HR 9, otherwise known as the Innovation Act, is “flawed, unreliable and incomplete.” The professors caution Congress to proceed cautiously, particularly given the numerous misleading and flawed studies that “highly exaggerated claims regarding patent trolls.”

The Innovation Act Will Harm Income, Employment, and Economic Growth

The legal costs of the IP system should be measured against the value of intellectual capital in the U.S. economy, estimated in a study by Kevin Hassett and Robert Shapiro to equal between $8.1 trillion to $9.2 trillion… Weakening the US patent system harms economic prospects for middle income earners because it will stifle innovation, discourage patenting, reduce private investments in new technologies protected by patents, slow economic growth, increase unemployment, and harm consumers. The proposed reforms will reduce prospects for economic advancement for middle income earners because they damage entrepreneurship and small business and favor large incumbent firms over inventors and innovators.

Flawed survey erroneously concludes patent licensing does not contribute to innovation

There are a variety of problems with this paper, the conclusions reached and the methodology. Perhaps the largest problem is that Professors Feldman and Lemley rely on subjective evidence rather than volumes of objective evidence that contradict the self-serving responses from those who are licensing rights they are already infringing. What else would you suspect from a homogenous subset of individuals who collectively don’t like the patent system very much? Collective bias seems a far more likely answer as to why there is “near unanimity,” as the Professors claim. Even so, how is it possible that any group could ever achieve near unanimity about anything? The fact that there was near unanimity demands one to question whether there is a bias or flaw in the survey, yet no such inquiry seems to have been made.

Demonizing monetizers undermines the patent system

Phil Hartstein is the President and CEO of Finjan Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: FNJN)… On January 6, 2015, I interviewed Hartstein, which appears below. We had a wide ranging and lively discussion about the current state of the patent market, how the pejorative use of the term “patent troll” does nothing but attempt to denigrate innovators as second-class patent owners simply because they don’t manufacture, efforts to promote ethical licensing standards, and patent reform.

Exclusive Interview with Doug Croxall of Marathon Patent Group

Doug Croxall is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Marathon Patent Group, which is a patent acquisition and licensing company. I met Croxall in New York City in November 2014 at the IP Dealmakers Forum. Croxall has been successful in the patent monetization business for years and had a unique prospective on patents as an asset. “If you are going invest your family’s fortune, I don’t think you will put all your money in one equity,” Croxall explained on the panel so it is the same thing with respect to an asset or a portfolio of assets.” He would go on to say that Marathon Patent Group has learned from “what worked in other asset areas and applied it to this one.”

Is the Patent Market Poised for Rebound in 2015?

While timing a bottom is never a good investment strategy, recognizing a bottom does present real opportunity. As the 18th century British nobleman Baron Rothschild is famously quoted as saying: “The time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets.” This contrarian philosophy is based on the realization that when things hit bottom they can’t get any worse, and can only get better. In the patent/innovation sector there are some recent signs that things may have hit the bottom and be trending up. The Supreme Court did not say software is patent ineligible, and we know from previous decisions that at least some business methods are in fact patent eligible. The Federal Circuit finally found software patent claims patent eligible and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) seems to have no appetite for patent reform.

Debt vs. Equity – The Financing of Patent Monetization

Of course, if the debt provider is doing their job properly the valuation of the assets is to provide a safety net in the event of default. The fact that certain patents are currently under assault has to weigh into the valuation proposition, but the debt provider is not in the business of providing money to acquire patents. The debt provider would rather never have the assets revert to them. They want regular payments to service the debt. Thus, who you work with matters on at least one level. “The story matters a lot, and management is super important,” Zur explained. “One should look at the management because it is extremely important how the company itself, not the assets, are going to succeed.” If management is bad that increases the risk and debt providers have to act accordingly.

Can New Patent Monetization Models Save American Innovators?

It has been several generations since Congress has enacted changes to the patent laws that gave greater rights to innovators, the Supreme Court today is reminiscent of Courts in the past that had never seen a patent that contained valid claims, and the Federal Circuit is infatuated with de novo review and willingness to rubber stamp invalidity decisions parroting the Supreme Court’s intellectually dishonest and logically inconsistent tests. In the wake of all of this uncertainty and outright vilification of inventors and the patent system, there are some in the licensing and monetization industry who are trying to bring meaningful financial innovations to the fore. For the foreseeable future, given the reality of a completely dysfunctional federal government and judges more interested in being legislators, we can hope that thought leaders with new patent monetization models can provide a solution that will keep innovators inventing and society benefitting from the fruits of their labors.

Using Competitive Intelligence to Enable IP Monetization

In the last 35 years, there has been a shift from a labor economy to a knowledge economy. Consequently, intangible assets (and thus, IP rights) have emerged as the most powerful asset class, overtaking more traditional capital assets such as real property, plant and equipment. Multiple studies have shown that a majority of the value of a U.S. publicly-traded company comes from intangible assets. In fact, one study has even placed the value of U.S. corporations included in the S&P 500 Index as coming 80% from intangibles.

FTC Testifies on Legislation to Prohibit Deceptive Patent Demand Letters

The Federal Trade Commission testified on consumer protection issues involving patent demand letters, patent assertion entities (PAEs), and proposed legislation to prohibit deceptive patent demand letters. Delivering testimony before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Lois Greisman, Associate Director of the FTC’s Division of Marketing Practices at the Federal Trade Commission, provided lawmakers with comments on a draft bill regarding deceptive patent demand letters, and recognized that demand letters raise broader issues about patents and the U.S. patent system.