Seen and heard
A round-up of IP-related quotes, observations and opinions from the recent past …
Today, we are announcing that Microsoft Azure IP Advantage will be available in China beginning October 1, 2017, ensuring that Azure customers in China can enjoy the same great IP protection benefits as customers in the rest of the world.
Microsoft chief IP counsel Erich Andersen, writing on the Microsoft Azure blog, September 19
Google has a new head of patents. Michael Lee, who joined the company from Cisco in January, has been appointed to the role following Allen Lo’s exit in August. Lee had been lead counsel for mobile at Google, having previously spent eight years at Cisco in a variety of roles including, most recently, as senior director IP strategy, marketplace and policy.
IAM blog, October 5
Qualcomm Inc was fined a record NT$23.4 billion ($773 million) by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission in the latest blow from regulators over the way the US company prices mobile phone chips and patents … The company has been violating antitrust rules for at least 7 years and Qualcomm collected NT$400 billion in licensing fees from local companies during that time, the Taiwanese regulator said on its website Wednesday. Qualcomm disagrees with the decision and intends to appeal.
Bloomberg News website, October 11
I’d like to congratulate António Campinos warmly on his election. It is a victory of competence and impressive experience in IP. It’s also a victory for Europe in its diversity. It is the first time that a national from the South of Europe is appointed as the head of the EPO. This decisive outcome shows how the European Patent Organisation has matured in terms of implementing strong governance and providing leadership in decision making that will serve European innovation.
European Patent Office (EPO) president Benoît Battistelli responds to the news that the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation had elected António Campinos, currently the executive director of the EU Intellectual Property Office, to succeed him when his term of office ends on June 30 next year; EPO press release, October 11
Marc has extensive experience managing a top-tier global IP team and developing a portfolio spanning tens of thousands of patents worldwide, making him a valuable addition to our IP executive team… Adding a powerhouse like Marc further illustrates TiVo’s commitment to building IP offerings that empower our customers to deliver innovative solutions globally.
TiVo chief IP officer Arvin Patel reacts to the appointment of former IBM licensing head Marc Ehrlich who joined the company as senior vice president of patent strategy; TiVo press release, October 12
Qualcomm Inc filed lawsuits in China seeking to ban the sale and manufacture of iPhones in the country, the chipmaker’s biggest shot at Apple Inc so far in a sprawling and bitter legal fight. The San Diego-based company aims to inflict pain on Apple in the world’s largest market for smartphones and cut off production in a country where most iPhones are made. The product provides almost two-thirds of Apple’s revenue. Qualcomm filed the suits in a Beijing intellectual property court claiming patent infringement and seeking injunctive relief.
Bloomberg News website, October 13
Via Licensing Corporation today announced the creation of a defensive patent bank, a wholly-owned entity that provides a defensive aggregation solution in connection with the company’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) patent pool offering … Via’s new patent bank serves as a resource for collecting rights to high-quality and essential LTE patents that might otherwise pose a risk for licensees, and providing licenses to these assets through Via’s LTE Patent Pool at no extra cost to licensees. All licensees in Via’s patent pool receive licenses to the relevant patents.
Extract from a press release issued by Via Licensing, October 18
The Chinese Government has been very clear about its intention to move from a manufacturing to an innovation economy and has taken steps to establish stronger laws to protect the rights of intellectual property owners. In June 2008, China announced the outline of national IP strategy, which set up a roadmap for China to become a country with a high level of IP creation, utilization and protection by 2020 as a part of this strategy, China plans a number of judicial reforms to strengthen the protection of IP rights. The government has opened three IP courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou that will try cases involving patent, technical secrets, computer software, new plant variety, integrated circuit layout design and cases regarding recognition of well-known trademarks and antitrust issues. We believe there is opportunity for RPX to participate.
RPX CEO Marty Roberts announcing plans to expand into the Chinese market during a call with analysts, October 30
When implementers act together within a standard-setting organization as the gatekeeper to sales of products including a new technology, they have both the motive and means to impose anticompetitive licensing terms. At the extreme, they can shut down a potential new technology in favor of the status quo, all to the detriment of consumers. The risk of failing to implement a new technology does not fall equally on innovators and implementers. The prospect of hold-out offers implementers a crucial bargaining chip. Unlike the unilateral hold-up problem, implementers can impose this leverage before they make significant investments in new technology… The Antitrust Division will therefore be skeptical of rules that SSOs impose that appear designed specifically to shift bargaining leverage from IP creators to implementers, or vice versa. SSO rules purporting to clarify the meaning of “reasonable and non-discriminatory” that skew the bargain in the direction of implementers warrant a close look to determine whether they are the product of collusive behavior within the SSO.
Recently appointed head of the antitrust division of the US Department of Justice, Makan Delrahim, speaking at the USC Gould School of Law’s Centre for Transnational Law and Business Conference, November 10
Joo Sup Kim, vice president and head of licensing at LG Electronics, has left the company to take up an administrative judgeship within the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), IAM has learned. Kim joined the IP Trial and Appeal Board (IPTAB) – an independent administrative law body within KIPO – on Friday … Kim will serve as the lead judge of the IPTAB’s 10th section, which hears ex parte and inter partes actions that deal with “complex technology”, including semiconductors, telecommunications and precision parts… IAM understands that that Kim was handpicked by the Korean government after a headhunting process aimed at recruiting top industry figures into public service roles.
IAM blog, November 13
AST, the leading provider of proactive patent risk mitigation solutions, has named Ray Strimaitis to the newly created role of Vice President, Corporate Development & Global Strategy … Strimaitis joins AST after serving as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Yahoo! Inc. Strimaitis will be responsible for leading AST’s Member acquisition strategy and will play a critical role in developing the organization’s global growth strategy, including addressing the needs of AST Members and developing further programs and solutions for current and prospective Members of AST.
Press release issued by Allied Security Trust (AST), November 13
Teletry will have the right to sublicense a broad range of BlackBerry patents to a majority of global smartphone manufacturers. BlackBerry will retain ownership of approximately 40,000 patents and applications and operate its own licensing program outside of Teletry’s sublicensing rights… BlackBerry chose Kasim Alfalahi and his team at Teletry because of their expertise and track record in licensing important portfolios through long-term relationships.
Excerpt from a BlackBerry press release announcing a new licensing arrangement with Marconi Group business Teletry, November 15