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25 Jul 2016

As Korean, French and Japanese sovereign patent funds gain traction, other countries warm towards the model

Recently published research has shed new light on the strategies employed by the world’s three leading sovereign patent funds (SPFs) – while discussion about the creation of similar entities in other countries appears to be picking up. In ‘Mobilizing national innovation assets: Understanding the role of sovereign patent funds’, Warren Clarke of Canada’s Digital Entrepreneurship & Economic Performance (DEEP) Centre, and James Hinton, of Bereskin & Parr Read more

Jack Ellis

22 Jul 2016

GAO report on USPTO quality highlights the big challenges the agency continues to face

The recent report on USPTO patent quality by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) would not have made for easy reading at the agency. That said, its leadership presumably knew what was coming long before they saw a draft of the report prior to its general release. The office knows it has a problem with quality – raising the standard of grants wouldn’t have become such a banner issue of Director Michelle Lee’s time in charge if it didn’t. At last year’s AIPLA Read more

Richard Lloyd

22 Jul 2016

Samsung hits back at Huawei as dying embers of the 'smartphone wars' are stoked in China

Samsung Electronics today announced that it has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Huawei in several courts throughout China, Reuters reports. The litigation represents a stepping-up of hostilities between the two companies, after Huawei sued Samsung in US and Chinese courts over patent complaints back in May. According to the Wall Street Journal, one of the cases has been filed in the Beijing IP Court. In this particular action, Samsung is asking for damages of Rmb161 million Read more

Jack Ellis

21 Jul 2016

A closer look at the fall in litigation in H1 – new case filings by operating companies hold steady while NPEs drop dramatically

Earlier this month we reported on the sharp drop in US patent litigation in the first six months of this year. The number of new cases hit levels not seen since the America Invents Act was signed into law in 2011. This radically overhauled the joinder rules so that defendants in cases were no longer routinely grouped together. But there was another side to the story – the big drop in new cases was largely accounted for by activity in the first three months of the year when Read more

Richard Lloyd

21 Jul 2016

Knocking out Chinese patents may be a lot harder than you think

There is a perception among Chinese practitioners that as the country becomes more conscious of patent quality issues and patent litigation begins to rise, validity is going to become perhaps the key battleground, as it is in the United States. Since the US inter partes review system came into existence, patent owners have anxiously kept tabs on the PTAB’s “kill rate” as a barometer for how friendly the environment is for patent owners. But when it comes to China, it is a lot Read more

Jacob Schindler

19 Jul 2016

Harvard lawsuits could be a taste of things to come say tech transfer experts

Late last month Harvard University took the very unusual step of filing two infringement lawsuits against semiconductor manufacturers Micron and Global Foundries over their alleged infringement of two patents that are owned by the Ivy League institution. That in itself is a pretty rare occurrence – combing the Lex Machina database I found that Harvard has been a co-plaintiff on just one other patent suit since 2011, so it seems that this is the only case in at least the last five years Read more

Richard Lloyd

19 Jul 2016

Transpacific denied Enfish lifeline as Taiwanese companies’ NPE experiment hangs in the balance

Back in May 2014, IAM reported on a lawsuit that had been filed the previous month in the Central District of California by a company named Kinglite Holdings. The suit accused Taiwanese IT and electronics company Micro-Star International (MSI) of infringing 13 of Kinglite’s patents, all of which had been part of a portfolio relating to BIOS (basic input-output system) firmware purchased from US software company Phoenix Technologies in November 2012. That deal had been handled by Read more

Jack Ellis

18 Jul 2016

Private equity player makes another big IP move with Longitude Licensing purchase

Vector Capital, the private equity house that has become one of the investors most closely associated with the IP market, is acquiring Longitude Licensing, the Irish-based business that was established in 2013 to monetise a portfolio of 3,500 semiconductor patents that were formerly owned by the Japanese tech company Elpida. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. This latest deal follows Vector’s purchase of IPVALUE in 2014 and its investment in French tech business Read more

Richard Lloyd

18 Jul 2016

Korea’s antitrust watchdog hints Qualcomm can expect another near $1b fine in patent probe - UPDATED

Last Friday, the Korea Times reported that the nation’s competition regulator, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has warned it may slap a fine of up to one trillion won ($880 million) on Qualcomm as it wraps up an investigation of the US company’s patent licensing practices. That figure is near the amount the American company agreed with China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to settle a similar investigation, and it is much bigger relative to the size Read more

Jacob Schindler

15 Jul 2016

Foreign businesses should be concerned by China’s proposed new IP competition rules, but hopeful too

There has been much focus recently on both the opportunities and challenges that IP owners face in China. The creation of specialist courts, for example, has been welcomed as a sign that the country is becoming much more committed to strong IP rights. But at the same time, there’s no doubt that major patent-owning businesses face myriad challenges in ensuring that their rights are not infringed and that they receive a fair return on their IP. You only need to look at the recent ups and Read more

Richard Lloyd

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Issue 78