Friday, July 22, 2016

Stronger Chinese Patent Laws Also Help U.S. Companies - WSJ

Stronger Chinese Patent Laws Also Help U.S. Companies - WSJ:

China is blasting past the USA in the patent world. They have already been the most busy patent office in the world for several years.

But now they are the office with the most issued patents: 359,000 issues, up 45% from 2014. WoW!

And we, in the USA are down 1% to below 300k.

Interesting that they pay up to $4,500 (30,000 yuan) for patents. That's probably more than full reimbursement for the full patent costs in China. People could make money by taking patent applications elsewhere (non PCT) and file them in China. And, that's apparently what people did. It seems that the motive to get paid the government subsidies for issued patents would incentivate a nice bribery market.

China first stepped into the world of intellectual property in 1985 when joining the World Trade Organization.

Many foreign companies are able to sue, successfully, in China. But, of course, they would only sue once they knew they have a clear-cut case and inspected the political landscape.

I still think that part of the massive move to China for IP is to help cut off the infringers at both ends of the product pirating pipeline from China to USA/EU/Japan: manufacture, distributor/exporter, retailer, and seller.

"Serious obstacles" of IP in China for foreign companies by the State Department is, by all measures an understatement. However, there seems to be progress.

Note that this article is more complete than the one printed in the paper.

'via Blog this'

Monday, July 18, 2016

ARM Holdings is giving up their "holding" to Sprint/SoftBank

ARM Holdings, the maker of chips and chip making technology has week a favorite here at IPZine. They are basically an IP company holding lots of patents on lots of stuff. They specialize in energy-efficient, reduced instruction set (RISC) chip technology; build it and then license it out to chip makers.
They have really taken off into the work of the Internet of Things.
Today SoftBank (parent of Sprint) has offered to by ARMH in an all cash bid. The stock is up 50% today. Even at this elevated price, the price-to-earnings ratio is 70!. Compare that to Intel (INTC) with a paltry PE of 15. Profit margin of 35% vs 20% for INTC.
ARM has remained independent and resisted the various take-over pressures. Until now. This changes somewhat the ARM dynamic of licensing tech to multiple players and making lots of money from licensing revenues (nearly pure profit). ARM has focused on tools and R&D and left the heavy work of manufacturing, distribution, etc. to their clients.
This is probably a good time to start getting out of the stock; SoftBand (Sprint) is not nearly the same type of investment. Sprint is more of a utility play, not R&D.
The drop in British Pound has made ARMH a far better deal to acquire. (ARMH is UK based.)
On a separate note, SoftBank's interests in buying up chip makers might become more complicated with ARM Holdings, in the company's holdings.
In the end, the independence of ARM Holdings didn't hold.