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28 Jul 2015

Chinese VC firm to target European high tech companies with new $5 billion takeover fund

Chinese investment firm GSR Capital yesterday announced the launch of a $5 billion M&A fund, which it said would be used for large-scale buyouts of western technology companies in sectors including life sciences, wireless communications and clean energy. Chairman Sonny Wu told Bloomberg that the firm will mainly target European businesses, in what could be another sign that the future home of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is set to become the prime destination for Chinese Read more

Jacob Schindler

27 Jul 2015

Pharma and biotech companies can't justify IPR opt outs, but you can see why they are asking for them

The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries seem to be stepping up their attempts to secure a carve-out for biopharmaceutical patents from the IPR process. Last week, Jim Greenwood, the president and CEO of BIO and John Castellani, the president and CEO of PhRMA, put together an opinion piece for The Hill in which they claimed that: “Predatory hedge funds are short-selling the stock of patent-dependent companies, then challenging the companies’ legitimate patents at the Read more

Joff Wild

27 Jul 2015

French connection and military R&D link in Beijing aggregation fund’s patent acquisitions

Since launching its first IP aggregation fund in April 2014, Beijing-based IP consultancy firm Zhigu has focused on obtaining Chinese patent assets from the domestic research sector. But assignments data suggests that the outfit has recently stepped up efforts to acquire intellectual property from foreign companies in order to expand its global portfolio. IAM reported on Zhigu last year when it initiated Ruichuan IPR Funds, which was hailed in the Chinese press Read more

Jack Ellis

24 Jul 2015

Google offers start-ups free patents, but also begins to roll-out patent sales

Google is at it again - trying to solve the ills of the patent world with another initiative, this time aimed at giving a helping hand to the start-up community. Or at least, that’s how the company is pitching it. The search giant announced the launch of the Patent Starter Program yesterday. This will see it give some of its patents away for free. As part of the scheme Google will transfer two patent families to the first 50 eligible start-ups that sign up. The company will then give Read more

Richard Lloyd

24 Jul 2015

Kabushiki kokaikaisha take note: The IP-savvy activist investor may be on its way to Japan soon

Japanese investors are intervening on an increasingly regular basis to influence and shake-up corporate decision-making at the country’s largest publicly-held companies (kabushiki kokaikaisha), according to recently released research findings. The growth in shareholder activism could put Japanese corporate management – who command some of the world’s largest patent portfolios – under greater pressure than ever before to maximise the value of their intellectual Read more

Jack Ellis

23 Jul 2015

If Qualcomm splits in two, will one half be cast as a patent troll?

There was confirmation earlier this week of what had been rumoured for some time – Qualcomm is launching a strategic review with a possible division of the business in the pipeline. That would see its very profitable patent licensing arm split off from the chip-making business instantly creating the largest standalone patent business in the market. According to the Wall Street Journal which broke news of the review, analysts at Arete Research Services have estimated that the patent Read more

Richard Lloyd

23 Jul 2015

Korean consortium’s Pantech rescue sealed with people-plus-patents package deal

A consortium led by Korean optical disk drive manufacturer Optis and telecommunications equipment provider Solid has finalised a deal which will see it take ownership of assets belonging to bankrupt mobile device company Pantech for an estimated 40 billion won ($34.7 million). To the relief of many in the country, the agreement is likely to mean that Pantech’s IP assets will remain in South Korean ownership after a number of takeover proposals from foreign entities collapsed or Read more

Jack Ellis

21 Jul 2015

Acacia is a bellwether NPE and well-placed to ride out current market uncertainties

Acacia Research has in many ways been a trailblazer for the NPE market. It initially pursued a large-scale approach to licensing through a volume-based strategy before shifting to a focus on marquee portfolios. It has expanded its horizons to take advantage of opportunities in both Europe and Asia, giving it a useful geographical hedge as the IP climate continues to worsen in the US. And it has maintained a litigation-heavy approach to help drive initial licensing deals. All of these Read more

Richard Lloyd

21 Jul 2015

Tsinghua's Micron bid looks doomed; Europe may be an easier prospect for Chinese companies after patents

Senior executives at Micron Technology have reportedly informed Tsinghua Unigroup that its $23 billion takeover bid is a non-starter, given the likelihood that US regulators would block the deal on national security grounds. As this blog reported a week ago, the buyout would have seen the Tsinghua University-affiliated investment group net a sizeable portfolio of patents along with an operating semiconductor business that is the world’s fifth largest by revenue. The prospect of Read more

Jacob Schindler

20 Jul 2015

No other company files more reviews at the PTAB than Apple, but its record is decidedly mixed

In its analysis of patent disputes in the first half of this year, Unified Patents included some interesting data on reviews filed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). As any keen patent market observer knows, the popularity of inter partes reviews (IPR), in particular, as well as those for covered business methods (CBM), has been one of the defining trends in the IP market over the last three years. According to Unified’s data, 953 petitions were filed in the first six months Read more

Richard Lloyd

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