Seen and heard
A round-up of IP-related quotes, observations and opinions from the recent past …
We are able to estimate, with varying degrees of accuracy, the mobile phone patent licensing revenues of 32 licensors in the mobile phone value chain. We estimate that the 32 licensors as a group had cumulative royalties in 2015 of almost $14.3 billion… Of these 32, 11 have licensing revenues of effectively zero. Licensing revenues of the remaining 21 firms run from a low of $2.4 million to a high of $8.2 billion in 2015.
Taken from A New Dataset on Mobile Phone Patent License Royalties by Alexander Galatovic, Stephen Haber and Lew Zaretzki, published September 25
I agree that all claims on appeal fall outside of 35 USC §101. I write separately, however, to make two points: (1) patents constricting the essential channels of online communication run afoul of the First Amendment; and (2) claims directed to software implemented on a generic computer are categorically not eligible for patent.
Opening of concurring opinion written by Justice Mayer in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s Intellectual Ventures v Symantec decision, September 30
No one-judge opinion at a court of appeals can ever establish what the law is. Such views have no precedential effect at all, and no more educational effect than if stated in a law review article. Therefore, I assume that well-advised tech executives will rely on the cited Federal Circuit opinions and ignore Judge Mayer’s personal views.
Former chief judge of the Court of the Appeals for the Federal Circuit Paul Michel reacts to the Mayer concurrence in Intellectual Ventures v Symantec, IAM blog, October 6
The Chinese government, for one, has established policies aimed at assisting companies to develop ‘Internet plus IP’ platforms. In recent years, an array of online firms offering a wide variety of IP services have emerged. China has quickly surpassed IP advancement efforts in the United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea as it pushes ahead to become the world’s next innovation hub. But while they may potentially be leading the ‘Internet plus IP’ drive, the truth is that the majority of Chinese companies have only just begun to scratch the surface.
YP Jou, CEO of Taipei-based IP consultancy Wispro and the man responsible for managing and monetising Hon Hai-Foxconn Group’s patent portfolio through its affiliates ScienBiziP and MiiCs, IAM blog, October 7
WIPO’s Coordination Committee, the governing body responsible for staff matters, agreed on October 7, 2016, to end their discussions on the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) investigation into allegations against the Director General. The Coordination Committee reaffirmed the decision taken at their September 12, 2016 Extraordinary Session with respect to the decisions and recommendations of the Chairs of WIPO’s General Assembly and Coordination Committee, who were charged with managing this process. In their final report, the two Chairs had decided to close with no further action all investigations regarding alleged misconduct. Member states agreed unanimously to move forward in a constructive and positive spirit with the ongoing work at WIPO to review and strengthen internal procedures relating to procurement, internal oversight, and whistle-blower policy. Director General Francis Gurry welcomed the decision by the Coordination Committee and the renewed confidence reposed in him by WIPO’s member states.
World Intellectual Property Organisation press release, issued October 7
In the third quarter of 2016, plaintiffs filed 1,127 patent cases. This total represents a decrease over Q2 (1,289 cases) of 12.6%, but is still higher than the Q1 2016 (960 cases).
Data released by Lex Machina, indicating that the annual rate of new US patent litigation suits in 2016 is on course to be the lowest since 2011, October 11
Transpacific’s service group was primarily located in Taipei, and that group was mainly doing patent prosecution, analytics, due diligence and transactional advisory work… We were finding ourselves focusing more and more on the actual asset management side, and it began to make sense to take that services group out of Transpacific. It needed someone to focus on it and make it the core part of their business.
The CEO of Singapore-based Transpacific IP Guy Proulx explains the decision to divest its services business, which has now become FAITH, IAM blog, October 14
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) has taken actions today to address Meizu’s infringement of its patents in the United States, Germany and France. These actions include filing a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC), filing a patent infringement action in Germany with the Mannheim Regional Court, and initiating an infringement-seizure action in France to obtain evidence for a possible future infringement action there. Previously, in June 2016, Qualcomm filed multiple actions against Meizu in China related to licensing terms and patent infringement.
Press release issued by Qualcomm, October 14
Patents are just filed for the sake of filing without any techno-commercial and legal evaluation… Individual scientists are using them for getting promotions and labs are playing number game. Once the patent is granted, neither the scientist nor the lab bothers about it. There is no serious attempt to find licensee and a review system to periodically look at the portfolio does not exist… Henceforth, 25% of expenses incurred on prosecution and maintenance of Indian patents and up to 50% of patents on foreign patents will be borne by the laboratories
Excerpt from a communique written to staff at 38 laboratories by Girish Sahni, director-general of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, India’s biggest research organisation, revealed by the Times of India, October 19
Kwang-Jun Kim, the CEO of Korea’s sovereign patent fund operator Intellectual Discovery (ID), yesterday submitted his resignation, he has confirmed to IAM. Kim says that he had fundamental differences of opinion with the fund’s public sector backers over the level of financial support ID should receive from the government as well as the future direction of the company.
IAM blog, October 25
Laura’s leadership track record includes roles at Alcatel-Lucent and Eastman Kodak, as well as co-founding a global consulting firm that helps clients leverage intellectual property assets. At Eastman Kodak, Laura served as president reporting to the CEO and was the company’s first-ever chief intellectual property officer, a role she continued when named general counsel of the company in 2011. At Alcatel-Lucent, Laura served as executive vice president of intellectual property focusing on monetizing the company’s patent portfolio. Currently, Laura serves on the board of directors of Technicolor SA where she chairs the strategy committee.
Lenovo announces that Laura Quatela, the former president of Kodak and executive vice-president of intellectual property at Alcatel-Lucent, has become the company’s chief legal officer, November 3
AST announced the results last week for the Industry Patent Purchase Promotion (IP3), the initiative backed by 21 companies designed to give patent owners a quick and easy way of selling their patents. The headline numbers are that IP3 made 56 offers to purchase 107 active patent filings at an average price per family of $96,000. The total expenditure was over $5.3 million with the purchase prices ranging from $10,000 to $325,000.
Press release issued by Allied Security Trust on the results of the Industry Patent Purchase Promotion, November 3