Friday, December 19, 2014

Business method patent issuance has plummeted since Alice | Managing Intellectual Property

Business method patent issuance has plummeted since Alice | Managing Intellectual Property:

Trends in Business method patents has seriously dropped since the Supreme Court ruled on the Alice v CLS Bank case in June. The court ruled that an abstract idea is not necessarily a business method and saying that it will be done on computers (network/cloud) doesn't assure it to be a valid claim either.

This ruling knocks back business method (and software patents).

So the major drop in business method patents could well be attributed to this case. The charts are rather telling but looking at a few more moths in 2015 should really crystallize the picture.

This should also setback those questionable entities that camp out under the economic freeway, with a bundle of patents, and charge everyone coming and going a toll.

'via Blog this'

Still Worth the Effort to get a Patent?

As global competition increases, the US courts and the Congress are virtually eliminating the single remaining Safe Harbor protection for inventors- the patent.  Two key factors.  In this article, the author describes the rulings in 2014 from the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.  The Supreme Court invalidated 5 cases reviewed.   From June-December, federal courts have invalidated 15 out of 19 cases reviewed.

The second factor comes out of the American Invent Act which created the Patent Trial & Appeals Board in the USPTO.  In what can only be described as bizzare, an issued patent can be declared invaild by the same organization that declared it valid in the first place.  The PTAB invalidated 77% of the cases it reviewed.  And, 27 states are making it harder for a patent owner to assert rights againgst an infringer.

More profoundly, this sends a cold chill through inventors and research labs.  Why spend large amounts of time and money to invent the better mousetrap, file for a patent(s), have on issued only to have it declared invalid opening the door to cheaper foreign competition?  Where does the Constitutional protection for patents stand?  How can one have faith in a patent examiner?

The author stipulates that US Patents have, in effect, become toxic assets like a subprime mortgage.

So, when you're reviewing the new product launch with the CEO and he asks, " since we've spent hundreds of millions of dollars on this product, how are you going to protect it we can get and return on that investment," you answer...  Trade secret...?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Anti-Counterfeiting... Should be more than one day of the year...

Here is an article from the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI)    June 5 is World Anti-Counterfeiting Day   (  It is a scary message counterfeiting of medications.  Note the opening sentence abut the deaths in 2012 from a false medication for malaria treatment.  Then, note that in some parts of the world about 1/3 of all medications are counterfeit.!

As the author indicates, there seems to be no limit to what can be counterfeited from fake brake pads to fake batteries.  There are serious potential hazards and consequences in these forgeries -- far worse than pirated CDs.

Here in the US, counterfeiting takes a back seat to patent infringements and copyright theft.  At least, from a public awareness perspective that seems to be the case.  But, maybe that low cost product on eBay or Amazon is not licensed and is suspect.

The old adage, if it looks too good to be true... it is too good to be true. Probably most of the books on Amazon and eBay are not legal. We have had experiences were our printed books were available for sale, but there were no physical copies of the book in distribution yet... Hmm...

At least, when you buy the ebook on Amazon in Kindle format you know that it is a legal copy and the majority of the payment goes to the creator/author, not to the pirates.
Minor edits: 12/17/2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

IP Monetization Yearbook from IAMmagazine.

Intellectual Asset Management magazine ( publishes a set of reports each year.  One is the "IP Monetization Yearbook."  The 2014 issue has 11 articles- one of which is Monetization of Royalties and Revenue Streams.  As the techniques for monetization of the enterprise's asset leader, IP, mature, the ways in which to monetize it should evolve to keep pace.  Here, the subject is the multiple ways in which to monetize royalties and other revenue sources from the IP portfolio.

As with most things, there are risks as well as benefits.  This makes due diligence and risk assessment mandatory.  A sample of the risk factors:
-  Revenue stream sensitivity to changes in consumer preferences
-  Technological, product or market obsolescence
-  Infringement risks
-  Risk of invalid IP

These factors potentially impact royalty interest purchases, IP securitization, multiple licenses, etc.

The article summarizes the basic structure of the licensing techniques, the pros and cons, the advantages and disadvantages.  What the article does not explore are the internal demands on the enterprise to develop the business strategies and revenue potentials against other internal revenue sources. (Product Management)  These licensing techniques  have much in common with a financial line of business requiring sophisticated financial plans.  This is not your IP Father's Patent Licensing Agreement from decades ago.

Already, IP Law and corporate finance are seated at the table.  Business Development and Strategic Planning need to join along with IP business managers.  And, once the royalty agreements are implemented, someone will have to manage the royalty collection and certification processes.

What organization in the enterprise owns these license agreements?