Tuesday, November 8, 2016

China’s Patent-Lawsuit Profile Grows - Troll Tolls Too - WSJ

China’s Patent-Lawsuit Profile Grows - WSJ:

China as a focal point of Intellectual Property, in the patent office and in the courts.

This law suit by WiLAN is interesting to see how the "assertion" of patents can move and shift.

Here's a little background on WiLAN from Wikipedia.

As you can see the company originally developed stuff so it would not be categorized as a Non-Practicing Entity (NPE), or Patent Troll in the ungracious term that is sometimes more appropriate for NPEs. WiLAN seems to be moving more steadily into the troll category.

Now with a war chest of some 3,000 patents+pendings, WiLAN is a strong international force.

In 2013 Daniel Fisher describes the Texas case where WiLAN had its core patents to the suit invalidated in "how to bag a patent troll". The stock (on the Toronto exchange) fell 33% to $3.25. In 2014, Apple won again in California.

Apple has won several law suits against WiLAN including a 2016 verdict. Look at the 6mo & 10yr stock chart on Yahoo, where it dropped from $3.40 to $2.30 in a few days at the end of July 2016. It now trades at $1.80.

The Investor profile is not so good, even with the Samsung licensing deal last year.

WiLAN continues to build its patent portfolio.

One of the things that a Patent Troll never wants to do, is actually go to court. Patents can be invalidated, remedies can be diminished, and the golden goose can give up the ghost.

Gotta love the trading symbol that starts with WIN (WIN.to).

There are several things that WiLAN could do to make it a much more legitimate player, and less of a troll. But those involve capital investments in R&D to invent, manufacturing to produce, sales and marketing to sell. That's a different business model. As long as investors are happy with investing in trolls, the trolls will rein supreme within their little serfdom of bridges.

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