Blog

23 Jan 2018

DC insiders predicting Iancu confirmation vote before mid-February

Almost two months since his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Washington DC insiders are predicting (and, for many, hoping) that there will be a full Senate vote to confirm Andrei Iancu as the next head of the USPTO by the middle of next month. According to one source, Iancu is due to be voted on as part of a package of government nominees before legislators leave for a week’s break on 16th February. When asked about this timetable another source close to the Read more

Richard Lloyd

23 Jan 2018

WiLAN explains its IP ‘framework agreement’ with TSMC, plans to offer similar deal structure to other licensees

Last week, we covered the new deal forged between WiLAN and TSMC, which the former described as a seven-year “intellectual property framework agreement” which has elements of an annual subscription. At the time, specifics about exactly what that means were thin on the ground. We reached out to Michael Vladescu, Chief Operating Officer of WiLAN, who has explained several key elements of the deal in finer detail for the benefit of IAM readers. IAM: A press release described this Read more

Bing Zhao

22 Jan 2018

Philips is pulled into Apple v Qualcomm dispute over confidentiality spat

The high-stakes FRAND licensing dispute between Apple and Qualcomm took another turn last week when the chipmaker filed a subpoena against Philips Electronics North America demanding that the Dutch company produce information on its licensing practices deemed relevant to the litigation that is currently gripping the patent world. According to the subpoena, which was filed in Massachusetts district court, Philips does not dispute that the documents are relevant but has so far declined to Read more

Richard Lloyd

22 Jan 2018

LG Chem taps Intellectual Discovery to find exclusive battery tech licensee in China

Last November this blog reported a milestone for LG Chem, which launched its first US patent suit against an alleged Chinese infringer. The enforcement campaign, in which the Korean firm teamed with Japan’s Toray, centered on a Lithium-ion battery technology that plays a key role in the electric vehicle sector. Now, the company has enlisted patent fund Intellectual Discovery (ID) to carry out a battery technology licensing programme in China, which it hopes will result in it finding an Read more

Jacob Schindler

19 Jan 2018

RPX management eyes possible deal, Spangenberg among interested parties; Microsoft drops membership

The management of RPX is meeting with a number of interested parties in a process that might lead to an eventual sale of the business, IAM understands. It is believed that an investment consortium led by IP monetisation specialist Erich Spangenberg is among those eyeing the defensive aggregator. Others to have been linked with a possible deal include Vector Capital, the private equity fund that owns IPValue and arguably knows the space as well as any buyout shop. It’s not clear if former Read more

Richard Lloyd

19 Jan 2018

The state of mobile SEP licensing after recent high-profile FRAND cases in London, California and Shenzhen

The TCL v Ericsson FRAND case and the Unwired Planet v Huawei case bookended 2017. Both have shed further clarity on issues surrounding SEP handset licensing.  Last week in Huawei v Samsung, a court in the Chinese tech hub of Shenzhen granted Huawei an injunction after finding that Samsung had infringed an ‘international’ SEP.  What effect will these cases have on the IP market? In order to find out, Lew Zaretzki of Hamilton IPV, and Conversant CEO Boris Teksler delved Read more

Joff Wild

19 Jan 2018

Google takes a big step in China and Tencent joins the patent licensing world in major cross-licence deal

Google and Tencent have announced a patent cross-licence deal that they say will pave the way for future technology collaboration. The pact is said to be “long term” and covering “a wide range of products and technologies”. Beyond that there are no details, including on whether the licence is royalty-bearing. Here are a few immediate reactions: Left field If you had asked patent professionals what the next major cross-licence in China would be, I’m Read more

Jacob Schindler

18 Jan 2018

Trump threatens IP fine for China, while SCOTUS could help patent owners get tough on overseas infringement

In an interview earlier this week President Trump announced that his administration is preparing to get tough on Chinese trade practices and accused the US’s geopolitical rival of forcing American companies to give up some of their IP as a cost of doing business in the country. “We have a very big intellectual property potential fine going, which is going to come out soon,” he said. He went onto tell the journalists from Reuters that: “We’re talking about big Read more

Richard Lloyd

18 Jan 2018

Senate committee approves Trump pick for Health Secretary who vowed to tackle ‘gaming’ of the patent system

President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, was approved by the Senate Finance Committee yesterday, taking him one step closer to confirmation. Though a former president of Eli Lilly, Azar has stated that lowering drug prices is his foremost priority, saying that abuses of the patent system by pharmaceutical innovators need to be curbed and competition from generics and biosimilars increased. While he is unlikely to push for radical changes if he Read more

Adam Houldsworth

18 Jan 2018

Broadcom pitches royalty rate cuts to Chinese OEMs, but some remain sceptical of Qualcomm takeover

When Broadcom first went public with its audacious plan to buy-out Qualcomm, Microsoft and Google were reportedly among the first tech titans to object to the deal in private, citing concerns about a potential loss of innovation. More recently, a trio of Chinese smartphone companies have gone public with reservations about the prospect of a takeover. But IP executives in China say that while any deal could potentially increase IP risks, it is too early to say whether it would be a net Read more

Jacob Schindler

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Issue 87