Patent Commercialization is Back in Vogue. Says who?
by: Tom Hochstatter, President
Says us…and folks like iPEL (and their investors) who just committed another $100 Million on the heels of announcing a first $100 Million raise only back in June of this year. An astounding $200 Million with most of the first raise deployed. It screams that the market is ready for thoughtful monetization.
Key Quote from their Press Release:
“A public patent buying program will be launched in early 2019, which will solicit offers for patents covering specific industry sectors where iPEL wishes to expand its current portfolio's coverage, including technologies in the automotive, gaming, internet of things (IOT), cryptography, digital rights management (DRM), and network security areas. As an all-cash buyer, iPEL has been able to acquire high quality patents and will continue to expand throughout 2019.”
I’ve written before about how/why I chose to get involved in the Intellectual Property industry all the way back in May 2007. The bottom line was that I saw a widely/wildly inefficient, alternative-asset class that was misunderstood and undervalued.
From that, I (and my investors, co-founders and co-conspirators) took two direct approaches to capitalize on this chaos and opportunity:
1) build tools/solutions to directly make the business of IP more efficient and more profitable, and
2) capitalize on the monetization of the undervalued assets that were certain to surface from number 1 – and surface they have, indeed.
So along with my co-conspirators we have resoundingly checked off the first milestone with a handful of tools: one sold to a F500, one embedded in the two leading global patent analytics tools, another one energizing a high-powered NPE, and now one about to launch here at Techson. Onward.
The second act
Now it’s time to take advantage of all that we have learned from constructing the tools and surfacing the inefficiencies around these latent assets. That advantage will be in the form of facilitating patent asset transactions with IP Advisory and Strategic Consulting and marrying that with purchase capital. Cold, hard cash for patent assets.
We just saw today that a well thought out patent “investment” strategy and plausible execution strategy will attract large investors looking for above market returns in an uncorrelated, alternative asset class with a much lower risk profile than similarly positioned alternative assets.
We’ve written here on the blog about our wild enthusiasm for Director Iancu’s ability to calm the seething sea of patent prosecution and litigation and give legislators real data from which to reconcile the sins of the AIA and PTAB, SCOTUS, et al.
What this means is a lower risk profile for patent assets, focus on patent-rights holders and an increased ability to hold infringers accountable – economically. Enter – the new asset investor looking for those outsized gains especially those that got smoked on cryptocurrency investing over the last 18 months. Not all alternative asset investments are the same…they say. Our job is to educate this eager capital to ensure a sustainable investment category and guard against an overheating bubble like crypto. Patents will be forever (at least our collective lifetimes) so let’s treat them as such.
Our prediction is 2019 will be the “Year of Monetization”. Patents will find their rightful place along other alternative asset investment classes because they will once and for all prove their place with predictable return horizons from which to balance one’s capital portfolio.