June News and Updates from the IP Industry - IPBC, Intel Auction, Huawei's Big Ask
Field Notes from IAM’s IPBC Global Event from Luke Barbin, CEO
We had the opportunity to meet and talk with nearly 100 industry peers and attend a bunch of great panels, parties, and dinners.
Here are my key takeaways from the June event:
1) Litigation interest is still extremely high, but now with the aggressive introduction of litigation financing and patent acquisition financing, the market players are more discerning and are looking for risk-mitigating advantages with technology, data, and consultation;
2) Many corporate counsel indicated a vast increase in interest in IP in C-suite and boardroom decisions of their companies. Translation: IP strategy may finally be getting a seat at the table instead of being several degrees removed in a position subordinate to the GC’s office. We are also seeing this in our own business, among our customers;
3) IP departments are taking a more holistic approach to IP. For example, many are spending a great deal of time evaluating and acquiring third party portfolios (if the price is right) to bolster their company’s technology position. It is no longer just about what can be patented and what can sold. It is about what can be bought to improve your position and gain leverage;
4) Data, data, data. Traditional forms of IP like patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets have a new sibling rivalry. Companies are leveraging vast amounts of proprietary collected data and know-how, in addition to patents, to add significant value to deals.
We’ll continue to watch how these trends emerge and we are planning to attend other IPBC events around the world.
C-Suite Insights - educating on patent portfolios without overwhelming
There's a fine balance between saying too much and oversimplifying - especially when explaining patents and IP strategy to executives that don't work everyday in our industry. What's the KISS for IP?
As Luke notes above it really is all about the data. We have worked very hard to create simplified reports that morph the "data" into useful analytical snapshots that you can use to convey strategy, insights and most importantly actionability to those key decision-makers. We also help you translate patent language into business parlance for even further understanding and we have management consultant expertise on our staff to then translate business strategy back into actionable IP strategy.
In addition to our consulting expertise and technology, we always look to partner with outside counsel to marry their deep insights, portfolio knowledge, legal expertise and privilege when we work with corporate IP departments.
Our new Limestone reports are not just pretty charts you can wedge out of your patent analytic tools. We use a dozen proprietary algorithms to surface these results; it's not just rehashing basic bibliographic data. Also, we deliver them ready-made in powerpoint so you can cut/paste them directly into your existing pitches.
We'd like to invite you to download a sample - prior art pitch.
Or Get a Custom Limestone Report or Pitch Deck. Send us a patent number and we'll create a report just for you. Free through July. Send request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
(fine print: limit of 5 per customer)
Huawei's Big Ask
We do our best to keep up with patent trends globally especially related to China, but it's increasingly difficult as the tariffs and trade wars rage on both economically and rhetorically. There’s a blizzard of news stories each day from both countries shouting who’s been wronged the most. Of course we are hyper sensitive to the story when it involved IP no matter the source.
One such story that got our attention was Huawei's demand for $1.0 Billion in royalties from Verizon earlier this month. Turns out Huawei had made that ask back in February according to sources.
We have tracked Huawei pretty closely of late and now that they are on a number of country-wide "black lists", they are taking to the PR trail to plead their case. On June 26th, they published a white paper entitled: "Respecting and Protecting Intellectual Property: The Foundation of Innovation: Huawei White Paper on Innovation and Intellectual Property". We encourage you to read it and let us know if you think it's sincere or just corporate (party) rhetoric.
In it, they report that they have received somewhere close to $1.4 Billion in royalties, but they have paid over $6.0 Billion in licensing fees over the "past couple of decades" with 80% of those fees coming to U.S. companies. We applaud their strategy vs. taking the negative tract of uber defensiveness. Only time will tell how the courts, countries and policy-makers will decide, but one reaction we were truly not fans of was Senator Marco Rubio's knee-jerk reaction to hustle legislation to disallow Huawei to pursue patent damages in the U.S. It was reactionary, ill-informed, and damaging.
This much maligned response by the senator was widely panned across the IP sector and many other trade officials and organizations. Were it to survive, we would most assuredly see China officials and courts immediately retaliate; so, if you have a protection or litigation strategy pending in China, we hope you have alternatives to seeking your patent remedies while the titans of world trade duke it out.
On top of this is the G-20 summit in Japan as we type. Here’s the latest from the “front” (cue the Morse Code or Tele-type sound effects).
Techson Founders Named to IAM Strategy 300 for 2019
Our three founders: Luke, Tom, and Chris have all been named as top IP strategists. We will continue to recruit, hire and deploy IAM 300 caliber folks to ensure your have the world's best IP experts working on your IP consulting and research projects.
Intel's Wireless Patent Assets Up for Auction
In a surprise announcement Intel is putting up more than 8,500 patents from it 5G smartphone modem business in support of their previous announcement of exiting this sector of the smartphone industry. The speculation is quite high on both prospective bidders and the eventual price tag. We've learned not to spend too much time on either, but we, too, will watch with much anticipation. (and spend needless hours speculating on when Apple buys them and how much they'll pay...)
That said, if you need detailed analysis of this portfolio or the industry at large we'd be happy to help.
Speaking of Help
We know you're busy and don't want to be hassled by sales folks, but if you have a question just ask - we'll answer it and get you right back on your way. Promise.