A round-up of IP-related quotes, observations and opinions from the recent past …
Huawei should not seek to enforce those orders until I have the ability to determine the breach of contract claim it chose to present in this action prior to filing the Chinese actions… Samsung faces the risk of significant harm, not just in China, but with impacts percolating around the world… The Chinese injunctions would likely force [Samsung] to accept Huawei’s licensing terms.
Judge William Orrick ordering Huawei not to enforce two standard-essential patent (SEP) injunctions it was granted against Samsung in the Chinese city of Shenzhen until he has considered the same issues in a dispute between the two companies being heard in the Northern District of California, April 13
Andy Ramer, who was one of the driving forces behind the Ocean Tomo patent auctions in the 2000s, has left Cantor Fitzgerald after a little over four years at the investment giant, where he was managing director of the IP group. Ramer is not moving to another position, though IAM understands he is keen to remain in the IP sector. Given the strong entrepreneurial streak he has demonstrated over a number of years, it would not be a surprise if he started his own business.
The IAM blog, April 20
If I had to pick one that has been at the front of my mind for some time it would be patent hold-out, which is supported by those seeking to de-value patents in general and standard essential patents in particular. As a result of the current debate around the meaning of FRAND and enforcement of essential patents, licensees are getting bolder in dragging their feet in negotiations. If the worst thing that can happen is that they pay the same FRAND royalties that they would have paid if they had negotiated, they are not incentivised to talk, but rather to delay for as long as they can, including through litigation tactics. We do see some positive signs here recently, with the statements from US DoJ AAG Delrahim and the Huawei v ZTE case in the CJEU clarifying things in the EU; but still, in many parts of the world, infringers see a business case in holding out and refusing to negotiate.
Ericsson chief IP officer Gustav Brismark responding to being asked to identify the biggest IP challenge facing the company, the IAM blog, April 25
The first and second quarters of fiscal 2018 GAAP and Non-GAAP results were negatively impacted by our dispute with Apple and its contract manufacturers (who are Qualcomm licensees), as well as the previously disclosed dispute with another licensee. We did not record any QTL revenues in the first or second quarters of fiscal 2018 for royalties due on sales of Apple’s or the other licensee’s products. The second quarter of fiscal 2017 results included approximately $970 million in QTL revenues for royalties on sales of Apple’s or the other licensee’s products. We expect the actions taken by these licensees will continue until the respective disputes are resolved.
Note in statement announcing Qualcomm’s second quarter financial results, April 25
The UK is overflowing with innovative businesses, with pockets of this innovation spread up and down the country. These businesses are the lifeblood of local economies by boosting income and creating jobs. Ratification of this important Agreement demonstrates that internationally, as well as at home, the UK is committed to strong intellectual property protections. This will help to foster innovation and creativity, bringing our modern and ambitious Industrial Strategy to life.
The UK IP minister, Sam Gyimah, announcing the United Kingdom’s ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement, April 26
The financial asset relates to an investment in Invention Investment Fund III (IIF3), a Cayman Island exempted limited partnership. Microsoft Round Island Three Ltd holds a 73% investment in this fund. Microsoft Round Island Three Ltd do not control IIF3 and the investment is accounted for at cost less impairment. During the year Microsoft Round Island Three Ltd, along with the other shareholders, pursued a restructuring of the fund. It was determined the economics of the potential deal presented an impairment of the carrying value of the financial asset to $Nil (2016 – $136.5m). It is expected that the full wind down of the fund will be complete within the next 18 months.
Extract from a filing by Microsoft subsidiary Microsoft Round Island Three at the Irish Corporate Registry, end of April
RPX Corporation … the leading provider of patent risk and discovery management solutions, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by HGGC, a leading middle market private equity firm, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $555 million. Under the terms of the agreement, HGGC will initiate a tender offer for RPX shares at a price of $10.50 per share in cash. The agreement was unanimously approved by RPX’s Board of Directors following a thorough review of a full range of strategic, financial and capital structure alternatives, which was first announced in February 2018.
RPX press release, May 1
Facebook has hired Google patent data analytics specialist Jeremiah Chan as its new head of patents. The move follows the social media giant’s poaching of the search giant’s patent head Allen Lo last August to be its head of IP.
The IAM blog, May 4
Monsanto’s appeal against the invalidation of its patent on Bt cotton seed variety Bollgard II will be heard by the Supreme Court on May 7 in a case that will have far-reaching impact on India’s intellectual property (IP) regime. A Delhi High Court bench had said in an April 11 ruling that Monsanto’s patent was not valid under Section 3(j) of the Patent Act, splitting opinion between those who said it would prevent Indian farmers getting the much-needed benefits of agricultural innovation and others who dismissed this concern as overblown.
The Economic Times of India, May 5
ANDA litigation is a vital, growing practice, at a time that NPE activity in other sectors is becoming less of a marquee element of patent litigation… If I were the head of IP at a big law firm, and looking to emphasise certain types of practice to keep people busy and boost revenue, ANDA would clearly be at the top of my list.
Lex Machina general counsel and chief evangelist Owen Byrd, talking about the findings of the firm’s 2018 Hatch-Waxman ANDA Litigation Report, which showed a sharp rise in ANDA litigation in 2017, May 11
Since 2016 one third of IV’s publicly disclosed assets across its various funds have left its ownership – with that number rising to 36% when you just look at issued US assets. Of those US patents, the vast majority (26%) have expired. This, ROL claims, is ahead of the rate you would normally expect, which it pegs at 23%. A relatively small chunk have sold (10%), but of those 96% have been picked up by other NPEs. The Dominion Harbor deals account for a large share of those, but ROL points out that a significant slice of the sales (31%) have gone to smaller NPEs.
Report on the IAM blog of the findings of recent research undertaken by Richardson Oliver Law (ROL) into the Intellectual Ventures patent portfolio, May 15