SPIF Standard Launched to Help Reliably Identify Patent Assets in M&A and Other Transactions
Major mergers typically make for attention-grabbing news headlines but many legal professionals working at the ground floor of finalizing these mergers know that the path of M&A activity is fraught with concerns involving improper patent asset identification. The proliferation of IP recordal software solutions and patent data analytics tools in recent years has created an unintended problem in patent data formatting. With conflicting data formats, it’s sometimes the case that acquiring companies are provided data on patent assets being transferred, leading them to believe that they’re acquiring a different, and perhaps more valuable, asset than they’re actually getting in the deal. A free-to-use, open-source solution to this problem has recently been unveiled by a group of entities meeting at the intersection of patent acquisition and strategic IP management: standardized patent identification (SPIF), a standard developed with contributions from Richardson Oliver Insights, RPX, OIN, Cipher, IAM and Unified Patents. A conversion tool using the SPIF standard, made available online for free by Cipher, is designed to take patent identification information from different data formats and provide reliable identification of the exact patent assets that are identified in portfolio data from the entity transferring the patent.