Thursday, November 30, 2017

Dodgy YayYo IPO advertised on TV - Business Insider

YayYo IPO advertised on TV - Business Insider:

Dodgy is probably the best term for Yay Yo IPO, for the inner circle, and for the product-less crowdfunding approach using the JOBS act.

In the true spirit of a pyramid scheme, Yah Yo has the promise of a product, but there is little or no "there" there.

They are selling the business model that they will tie in all the ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft into an integrated interface that gives you the best pricing. They generally imply that the BIG 2 unicorns will happily interface with Yay Yo. However, the two world-wide rideshares have insisted that Yay Yo cease and desist from any implicates of partnership.

So, they say, they will work with the largest 3 to 100 ride share companies. In the US, Uber is down to about 74% with Lyft at about 24%... leaving about 2% for the other players. (See here how Uber's fortunes have fallen from 91%, including a #deleteUber campaign based on a Trump backlash.)

The talking head spokesperson/expert in the video is J Peterson from Sienfeld fame, a show about nothing, seems appropriate... An IPO about nothing.

Comparing to Uber or Lyft that actually produce something and have lots of intellectual property (like patents and such) at their disposal, seems a bit like a reach. People from near and far, think that the advertising of the investment, not the product, is mostly misleading and far from the truth. Taking excess advantage of the Wild-Wild west for small investors made available for low regulation (near no regulation) IPO thanks to the 2012 Jumpstart our Business Startups, or JOBS Act.

Want to hear an overview of the investor requirements for this "Regulation A+" investment, straight from Elaine's dodgy boss from Seinfeld look at the bottom right of this page: 
Consider carefully signing up though.

There should be no comfort in investing in a guy who was banned from public IPO for 5 years because of wildly risky and/or criminal acts in a publicly traded company in the past.

You read through the SEC filings to see if this is a IPO scam, a dodgy crowdfund, or simply an uber-risky pink-unicorn investment.

On the plus side, the Business Insider article that started this blog post, YayYo IPO advertised on TV - Business Insider:, is a wonderful overview of the whole JOBS act and really good uses of it to fund smaller businesses and give smaller investors an opportunity to play. Companies that seem to have real products and interesting market niches are Elio and Knightscope. "Regulation A+ IPOs include Elio Motors, which is working on an inexpensive three-wheeled car, and Knightscope, which designs robotic security systems."

Ironically, Uber (global) and Lyft (US only) are both private companies, not public, valued at approximately $68B  and $7.5B, respectively. Real revenues in 2016 of about $6.5B and $700m.

Uber has 298 US patents in force with 117 applications pending (via PatentBuddy), amassing a serious war chest organically and through acquisition. Not just anybody is gonna go jump into this market.

Lyft got their first patent issued in Sept 31 of 2016 for music preferences ("jukebox") and its second patent for "ride chaining" almost exactly a year later. The ride chaining patent is about a pickup and drop-off sequence, weaving through a rough terrain of of (Uber) patents.

I vote for dodge the dodgy, IPO or no.

'via Blog this'

Monday, November 20, 2017

Welcoming and Commending New Patent Legislation

The America Invents Act (AIA) was passed in 2011 and we are about to start the eighth year since its inception. (See description hereincluded such changes as a move to “first to file” from “first to invent”.) Intellectual Property time since then has been, to say the least, tumultuous.  We have seen significant Supreme Court decisions, the rise and spread of the troll as an intimidator of patent-owning small and medium size businesses and infringement litigation run wild.  “Beware of the law of unintended consequences.”
In response to these and other post AIA problems, Senator Patrick Coons (D-DE) introduced the “Support Technology and Research for our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience (Stronger) Patents Act.” Co- sponsors include Tom Cotton (R-AR), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mazio Hirono (D-HI).
There is a lot in the bill as one can see in the article.  But, one condition not covered is that of patent examiners.  First, funding is needed to significantly increase the numbers of examiners as annual patent applications increase and overwhelm the existing workforce.  Second, the increasingly complex and variety of technologies in patent applications, such as Artificial Intelligence, make it imperative that highly educated people be hired, and trained. Plus pay and benefits must be competitive to keep them working at the Patent Office, not jumping ship into the private sector.
Third, the incidence rate of infringement claims that ultimately lead to patent invalidity is much too high.  USPTO time and expenses incurred to settle claims in a drain on the organization and cause delays in getting valid products to market.  New techniques, more training, special masters or other aids such as special computer systems (WATSON-like) are needed to insure that patent claims are validated and not infringing issued patents.  “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”