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30 Sep 2016

Uber hires former Google licensing executive in what could be a familiar pre-IPO play

In a major move in the licensing community, former Google patent executive Kurt Brasch has moved to Uber as senior manager, patents. He joins an IP team led by fellow former Google employee Michael Meehan who jumped ship in February of this year. Brasch left Google earlier in the summer as the search giant let go of most of the legacy licensing team that it had picked up through its 2012 acquisition of Motorola Mobility. At Google he played a role in the Patent Purchase Promotion and its Read more

Richard Lloyd

30 Sep 2016

Japanese ministry to study NPE issue as potential litigation reforms hang in the balance

This week Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported that the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) would be undertaking a study of NPE activity, with a view to making policy recommendations for the sector’s regulation. A panel including lawyers and academics could begin looking into the matter as early as October, according to the report, which suggested that part of the impetus for the study was the observation that NPEs are expanding their activities beyond the Read more

Jacob Schindler

29 Sep 2016

WIPO staff council legal rep demands immediate removal of Gurry after distribution of misconduct report

The legal counsel to the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Staff Council has called for the immediate removal of Francis Gurry as the UN agency’s director general and the lifting of his diplomatic immunity so that he might face possible criminal investigation or civil proceedings over the findings of a report into alleged misconduct that was delivered to the Chair of the WIPO General Assemblies in February. The demand is contained in a letter sent to “All Read more

Joff Wild

29 Sep 2016

As Blackberry pulls out of handset business it has some big patent strategy calls to make

It has seemed like a fairly safe bet for some time that Blackberry would pull out of the phone making business. CEO John Chen had given it until this month to decide and yesterday he confirmed that the iconic mobile business would no longer be manufacturing devices. Instead, the Canadian company, which has been supplanted by Apple and Samsung among others in the smartphone league, will outsource hardware development and will become a software and services business. In patent terms it also Read more

Richard Lloyd

29 Sep 2016

China’s Netac sees increase in patent income as it prepares for expiration of key rights

Shenzhen-based Netac Technology was an early adopter of the patent accumulation and monetisation model that now appears to be gaining a lot more traction in China. Now, seventeen years after the company’s founding, the Chinese legal environment is becoming a lot more conducive to patent business. New lawsuits and financial results announced by the company indicate that it is doing its best to take advantage of the favourable environment for patent enforcement as the expiration of some of Read more

Jacob Schindler

28 Sep 2016

Former Intellectual Ventures fund looks to leverage new-found freedom after completing divestiture and rebrand

The Invention Development Fund (IDF), formerly one of the three main fund groups under Intellectual Ventures’ (IV) management, relaunches under a new brand today as it marks the final step in its spin-out from the patent aggregation firm. The fund – the divestiture of which was revealed by its executive vice president Paul Levins at IPBC Global in Barcelona back in June – will henceforth be known as Xinova. This moniker incorporates Chinese and Latin terms for Read more

Jack Ellis

27 Sep 2016

First results of IP3 buying spree show up in USPTO database; sellers included Korea’s Intellectual Discovery

The Industry Patent Purchase Program (IP3), the initiative launched in May by AST and a group of major operating companies which was designed to give patent owners a quick and simple way to sell their patents, has bought 78 US patent applications and grants according to data from the USPTO’s assignment database. There is no indication if that is the final total of patents sold, although with payment due to the successful sellers by the end of this month, the picture should become much Read more

Richard Lloyd

27 Sep 2016

China’s Oppo revealed as recipient of $4 million patent portfolio sold by Inventergy last year

New assignment records indicate that Chinese smartphone maker Oppo was the unidentified party that made a $4 million patent purchase from NPE Inventergy in June last year. According to USPTO records, the Dongguan-based company obtained five US patents in separate assignments on 25th March this year (though these were not recorded with the USPTO until 7th September). The assignor of each of the patents was Golden Valley Holdings Limited, an entity with its address in Apia, Samoa – a Read more

Jack Ellis

26 Sep 2016

With the “troll” threat reducing, the case for defensive patent aggregation may no longer be as compelling

The week before last I hosted a webinar for IAM Market entitled Readying a Patent Portfolio for Sale: What You Need to Know to Be Successful. Over 350 people signed up to get the materials and the recording, while close to 200 listened live as presenter Kent Richardson, a partner at Silicon Valley-based Richardson Oliver Law Group, talked through his slides and then answered questions from me and from attendees. It was a fascinating hour, which my colleague Jack Ellis has written up in a blog Read more

Joff Wild

26 Sep 2016

Alarm in Asia as ITC 337 investigations on course for biggest year since smartphone wars peak

Taipei-based Advantech recently became the latest Taiwanese company to find itself facing a Section 337 investigation by the United States International Trade Commission (ITC). The complaint, filed by Rockwell Automation, accuses a German software developer called 3S Smart Software Solutions of infringing eight US patents in a software system called CoDeSys; Advantech, which implements that software in its industrial computing products, is also named as a respondent. This latest case comes Read more

Jacob Schindler

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Issue 80