Blog

19 Sep 2017

Microsoft v Motorola judge criticises recent UK Unwired Planet SEP licensing decision

US district court judge James Robart has taken aim at the decision handed down by Justice Colin Birss in the high profile London High Court SEP/FRAND case of Unwired Planet v Huawei, decided earlier this year. Speaking at the annual IPO meeting in San Francisco yesterday, Robart – who handed down the famous Microsoft v Motorola decision in 2013 and sits in the Western District of Washington - said that Birss was wrong to offer specific royalty rates for the technology in question, rather Read more

Richard Lloyd

19 Sep 2017

The US's BigTech elite will find it tough to set the patent agenda in Europe

Google is set to appeal the European Commission’s decision to impose a €2.4 billion fine after a finding that the company had abused its dominant position by manipulating search results to favour its own comparison shopping site. In a press release announcing the decision in June, European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager stated: “What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. Read more

Joff Wild

19 Sep 2017

Chinese LED maker dips back into patent market with Sony portfolio pickup

Sanan Optoelectronics failed to take over Osram after having its bold $8.2 billion bid rebuffed late last year. But the Chinese LED maker has turned to the patent market to shore up its IP position, most recently buying a pair of portfolios from Sony. As increased scrutiny from regulators in both Europe and the United States threatens to scuttle Chinese firms’ more audacious M&A endeavours, there is still significant scope for them to acquire IP in smaller-scale deals. USPTO Read more

Jacob Schindler

18 Sep 2017

The biggest problem with Allergan’s St Regis Mohawk deal is that the tribe may not own the patents

The transfer of six patents underpinning Allergan’s dry-eye treatment Restasis to the Saint Regis Mohawk native American Indian tribe has electrified the US patent community. The move, designed to make use of the tribe’s sovereign immunity in order to avoid Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) scrutiny of the patents via inter partes reviews (IPRs) could, if successful, drive a coach and horses through the IPR regime – much to the delight of many and to the absolute chagrin Read more

Joff Wild

18 Sep 2017

DSS brings in Singapore money man to save its NYSE American listing; Asia offices planned

US-listed PIPCO Document Security Systems has hired a Singapore businessman to head its international and Asia-focused efforts, according to recent SEC filings. The move comes alongside a stock swap that will ensure the company is not de-listed by regulators for not maintaining enough equity. DSS also says it will open two Asia offices in the near future, as the company’s monetisation project with Korea’s Intellectual Discovery rolls on. A Form 8-K dated September 11th announced Read more

Jacob Schindler

17 Sep 2017

The man who brought patent monetisation to BlackBerry becomes latest big name corporate IP departure

Mark Kokes has left BlackBerry and is no longer its senior vice president of intellectual property, licensing & standards, IAM has learned. In a sudden move, Kokes departed in mid-August and is not thought to have taken another position. For its part, BlackBerry does not seem to have appointed a direct replacement. In a recent press release announcing that Timex had entered into a patent-based agreement with the company, reaction from BlackBerry came from senior director of intellectual Read more

Joff Wild

15 Sep 2017

Sovereign immunity protects patent owners from what some see as PTAB's kangaroo court, says tribe lawyer

The recent news that pharma giant Allergan and tech company SRC Labs have licensed patents to a Native American tribe in an attempt to protect the patents from inter partes review (IPR) has once again catapulted the controversial post-issuance review process into the wider business press. With the Supreme Court due to hear Oil States, a case concerning the constitutionality of IPRs, in its next term, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is in the spotlight like never before.  Read more

Richard Lloyd

15 Sep 2017

Samsung among the targets as another Chinese SEP owner goes on the warpath

A state-owned entity from Guangzhou is the plaintiff in China’s latest SEP enforcement effort, and the world’s top TV seller, Samsung, is among those in the crosshairs. Shenzhen-based Skyworth and Shandong-based Hisense are the other targets in the campaign, which centres on a domestic Chinese audio-related standards.   Digital Rise, the Guangzhou company, has so far launched patent suits in three separate venues. It first brought suit against Skyworth in the Beijing IP Read more

Bing Zhao

14 Sep 2017

Recent joiners Lenovo, Verizon and Conversant suggest Via’s LTE pool is picking up momentum

Patent pools in the wireless space have not enjoyed much success, but the recent news that Lenovo, Verizon and Conversant have signed up as licensors in Via’s LTE pool suggests that, at the very least, this licensing collective for fourth generation mobile technology needs to be taken seriously. The three new members join a list of patent owners that already includes AT&T, China Mobile Communications Corporation, Google and NTT DOCOMO. Lenovo has joined both as a licensee and Read more

Richard Lloyd

14 Sep 2017

With rumoured HTC smartphone unit acquisition, Google could bring a longtime patent ally into the fold

Three weeks ago, Bloomberg reported that Taiwan smartphone maker HTC has held takeover talks with Google, as the struggling business explores ‘strategic options’. More recently, several outlets have reported that a deal – either for the whole company or just its smartphone unit – is in late stages. Other options on the table include an investment by the US company. Whatever happens, there is a good chance that HTC’s days as a stand-alone smartphone maker are Read more

Jacob Schindler

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Issue 85