Seen and heard

A round-up of IP-related quotes, observations and opinions from the recent past …

GO Scale Capital, an investment fund sponsored by GSR Ventures and Oak Investment Partners has announced today that it will acquire an 80.1% interest in Philips’ combined LED components and Automotive lighting business, with Philips retaining the remaining 19.9%* interest. The transaction values the business at an enterprise value of approximately USD 3.3 billion … Philips will remain an important customer of Lumileds and will continue the existing innovation and supply partnership. The transaction includes the transfer of a broad patent portfolio of more than 600 patent families related to LED manufacturing and automotive lighting from Philips to Lumileds.

Press release issued by GO Scale Capital and Philips, March 31

Our ability to continue as a going concern is dependent upon our ability to generate profitable operations in the future and/or to obtain the necessary financing to meet our obligations and repay our liabilities arising from normal business operations when they come due. We plan to continue to provide for our capital requirements by issuing additional equity and or debt. No assurance can be given that additional capital will be available when required or on terms acceptable to us. We also cannot give assurance that we will achieve sufficient revenues in the future to achieve profitability and cash flow positive operations. The outcome of these matters cannot be predicted at this time and there are no assurances that, if achieved, we will have sufficient funds to execute our business plan or to generate positive operating results. Our independent registered public accounting firm has indicated that these matters, among others, raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.

Extract from annual report of non-practising entity (NPE) Inventergy, March 31

I think that at the end of the day this is a public policy decision and although the pharma lobbyists have raised a big stink about third-party filers, to quote Shakespeare: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” If they have high-quality innovation, they shouldn’t be concerned about it; it will help them avoid low-quality assertion threats with regards to their manufacturing and distribution and other products. For true innovation, this will only make their Orange Book listed franchises more valuable. It’s unfortunate when the bio lobbyists are putting out press releases lambasting Kyle Bass and others for exercising their statutory rights in front of the patent office.

Kevin Barnes of Ferro Ferrum Capital, which has filed a review for an inter partes review of Allergan-owned US Patent 7,030,149, related to glaucoma drug Combigan, on the IAM blog, April 9

Boris’s substantial experience leading the development and implementation of intellectual property strategies for some of the industry’s most innovative, prominent, and successful companies makes him the ideal person to lead Unwired Planet in the realization of the value of its intellectual property assets … I am confident Boris’s creativity and licensing expertise -- particularly in the mobile sector -- developed over his long tenure in the technology industry will be transformational for Unwired Planet.

Unwired Planet chairman Phil Vachon commenting on the appointment of Boris Teksler, the senior executive vice president and president of the technology business group at Technicolor, as the NPE’s new CEO, April 13

The implementation of PTAB IPR proceedings has resulted in significant benefits to both consumers and industry. In particular, IPR proceedings are highly beneficial because they appropriately allow patent validity to be examined by a panel of agency experts rather than a court, and provide a faster, more affordable alternative to the judicial system in challenging patents. The PTAB system as currently structured has thus far been highly effective in eliminating particularly egregious invalid patent claims. We believe the PTAB IPR processes should be left in their current form as the USPTO continues to carry out Congress’ directives outlined in the AIA.

Extract of a letter written by hedge fund manager Kyle Bass to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and ranking Democrat John Conyers opposing changes to the current inter partes review regime proposed in the Innovation Act, April 14

It’s something that we’ve looked at throughout the company’s history, a couple of times even publicly. It is something that is constantly and periodically discussed at the management team and at the board level. There are lots of puts and takes and those puts and takes change over time depending on the situation, but I would say just broadly you should think of the businesses as having significant synergies in the ability to deliver products to market.

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf commenting on calls to split the company’s chip making and patent licensing businesses into two entities, April 22

Technology innovation is central to ZTE’s business as evidenced by our expanded patent portfolio of more than 60,000 patents filed. This commitment to patent research allows us to deliver award-winning products to consumers and thus, grow our business globally … We hope that by joining other companies who share our mutual respect for intellectual property in the United for Patent Reform, we can encourage others to use their resources to develop new and innovative products for the consumer.

Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA, commenting on the company’s decision to become a member of United for Patent Reform, a group lobbying in favour of patent litigation reform legislation in the United States, April 24

From May 8, 2015 through May 22, 2015, we’ll open a streamlined portal for patent holders to tell Google about patents they’re willing to sell at a price they set. As soon as the portal closes, we’ll review all the submissions, and let the submitters know whether we’re interested in buying their patents by June 26, 2015. If we contact you about purchasing your patent, we’ll work through some additional diligence with you and look to close a transaction in short order. We anticipate everyone we transact with getting paid by late August.

Extract from a blog posting by Allen Lo, Google’s deputy general counsel for patents, announcing the launch of the Patent Purchase Promotion, April 27

NPEs cost operating companies an estimated $12.2 billion in 2014. This figure represents only a slight dip from 2013’s $12.5 billion estimated cost.

Finding reported in RPX’s 2014 Cost Report, published May 4

The Court dismisses both of Spain’s actions against the regulations implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection.

First sentence of a press release issued by the European Court of Justice about its decision to reject Spain’s attempts to have the process creating the EU unitary patent and Unified Patent Court declared illegal, May 5

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