South Korea’s Intellectual Discovery (ID), Japan’s IP Bridge and French outfit France Brevets are typically seen as comprising the first generation of ‘sovereign patent funds’ (SPFs). Loosely defined, these are entities with significant state funding that are dedicated to patent aggregation and exploitation in the pursuit of gaining competitive advantage for their respective countries’ economies. Other SPFs, or comparable vehicles, have been launched, but have either fallen by the wayside due to relative inactivity or apparent failure, or are yet to make their mark in any considerable way. What sets the three named above apart from the rest of the field is our possession of substantial evidence that they are active in terms of buying, selling, licensing and asserting patents.

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