Blog

16 Jan 2017

Patents and know-how power new GE move into China battery market

For US technology companies doing business in China, joint venture arrangements are perennially near the top of the list of IP concerns. The common perception is that increased pressure on foreign partners to transfer technology to local partners is a major lever used by Chinese authorities during periods of greater protectionism. With the short-term future of the Sino-American trade relationship uncertain to say the least, JV tech transfer is an issue that’s sure to stay relevant in the Read more

Jacob Schindler

15 Jan 2017

Licensing income a stand-out success in what was generally a poor 2016 for Technicolor

Technicolor CEO Frederic Rose has probably not had the best of weekends. On Thursday, the Paris-based entertainment technology company issued a warning that EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) for financial year 2016 is likely to come in at €565 million – significantly less than the €600 million to €635 million that had been anticipated at the end of the third quarter. The shortfall has been caused almost entirely by lower sales than Read more

Joff Wild

13 Jan 2017

The biggest US patent litigation targets see a big drop off in cases in 2016

The headline numbers for the 2016 litigation year in the US were out last week and showed a big drop in the total number of new patent infringement cases. According to Unified Patents there were 4,382 new cases, a drop of almost 25% on the 2015 figure. That is the lowest level since 2011 when the America Invents Act (AIA) came into force and new joinder rules had a significant inflationary effect on litigation volume. RPX also released some stats and included a numbers of interesting data Read more

Richard Lloyd

13 Jan 2017

Asian brokers made a patent market breakthrough in 2016, signalling future growth potential

The most recent issue of IAM features our annual appraisal of the past year’s brokered patent market, put together by Kent Richardson, Erik Oliver and Michael Costa of ROL Group. Subscribers can read the full article here. The bottom line, according to the authors, is that while the marketplace for patent assets hit a low ebb in 2016 – with overall market value estimated at $165 million, around a third less than the previous year – it remains “robust and Read more

Jack Ellis

12 Jan 2017

WiLAN ramps up litigation over Siri patents with Amazon among the targets

WiLAN has stepped up its campaign against the growing personal digital assistant market filing six lawsuits before and after Christmas against a series of big tech companies including Amazon and HTC over patents that underpin Siri, the popular electronic assistant on Apple devices. The most recent case was filed on Tuesday against ZTE in district court in Delaware, bringing the total number of suits that the NPE’s subsidiary IPA Technologies has filed in this campaign to 11. WiLAN Read more

Richard Lloyd

12 Jan 2017

Transparency of Via Licensing's AAC royalty rate structure for developing markets could make it a benchmark

Dolby-backed patent pool operator Via Licensing has announced some high profile new licensing agreements in Greater China over the past month, with Lenovo and Xiaomi having joined the pool covering AAC technology. A big factor in this apparent momentum is the fact that the pool has introduced a new alternative rate structure which codifies a discount for devices sold in developing markets. This effort to accommodate local market realities in countries like China also adds a welcome dose of Read more

Jacob Schindler

11 Jan 2017

Microsoft consolidates IP functions under Minhas after departure of licensing chief Psyhogeos

Nick Psyhogeos – who, as head of Microsoft’s IP licensing operation, played a central role in its headline patent deal with Xiaomi in the first half of 2016 – left the company towards the end of last year to launch a consulting practice focused on business negotiations and dealmaking, IAM has learned. We understand that following Psyhogeos's departure, Microsoft's chief patent counsel and associate general counsel for patent strategy Micky Minhas has moved into a new Read more

Jack Ellis

10 Jan 2017

New grant stats show that companies still put a premium on US patents

IBM receiving the most US patents in a year has become as much a feature of the US patent system as the Supreme Court over-ruling the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. According to IFI Claims Patent Services, last year Big Blue received the most US utility patents for the 24th year in a row, with just over 8,000 grants. This blog has written before on how the tech giant has a long track record of disposing or abandoning some of its patents (in some years the number of abandoned Read more

Richard Lloyd

09 Jan 2017

$5 billion men get together in another sign that IP really is now a mainstream boardroom issue

Two of the biggest names in the IP market have joined forces. Intellectual Ventures co-founder and former VP of patent licensing, strategy and litigation at Intel, Peter Detkin, has today become a senior adviser at Sherpa Technology Group, the strategic IP consultancy among whose managing partners is Rembrandts in the Attic author Kevin Rivette. Sherpa was previously known as 3LP Advisors. At the end of 2014, IAM revealed that Detkin was to reduce his IV commitments, so that they would Read more

Joff Wild

09 Jan 2017

Licensors must understand that what is FRAND in US and EU may not be in China, says Xiaomi IP strategy chief

This time seven years ago, Xiaomi did not exist; now it is one of the five biggest mobile businesses in the world. As it seeks to grow its business in both China and beyond, that presents the company with a series of major IP challenges. As part of its programme to meet these, last week it signed a deal with Via Licensing that will give it the right to use the assets that form Via’s Advanced Audio Coding patent pool in its products worldwide. Like a similar deal done with Lenovo just Read more

Joff Wild

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Issue 81