Seen and heard

Seen and heard

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

We were involved in the discussions that led to the MPEG LA pool as well as the HEVC Advance pool. But ultimately, we decided to license our HEVC patents directly to manufacturers and we will not participate in any of the HEVC patent pools. This gives us more flexibility to tailor our agreements with device manufacturers to meet both their needs and ours. In some cases, these licences may include broader collaborations beyond mere patent licensing. In others, we may bundle other technologies together to make them available to device manufacturers who need a broader suite of the products, services and technologies that Technicolor has to offer.

Arvin Patel, chief IP officer of Technicolor, explains why the company has pulled out of the HEVC Adance patent pool, IAM blog, May 16

Calling all patent owners! Some of the world’s largest companies have combined resources to buy your patents. Industry Patent Purchase Program, IP3, announced today by AST in collaboration with a diverse group of global companies, is a new streamlined and easy way for patent owners to sell their great patents to buyers. IP3 creates a patent marketplace that brings together a pool of significant money from companies including Google, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Adobe, SAP, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia Motors, Verizon, Cisco, Arris, leading cable service providers, and many other multinational companies to purchase patents in a format that allows sellers to set their own price for their patent assets and reduces the time and complexity usually associated with patent transactions.

Excerpt from a press release announcing the launch of the time-limited Industry Patent Purchase Program, May 18

Microsoft Corp. and Xiaomi Inc. have expanded their global partnership to provide innovative user experiences on mobile devices. As part of the agreement, Xiaomi will ship Microsoft Office and Skype on Xiaomi Android smartphones and tablets. As a result, tens of millions of consumers and business customers in China, India and around the world will have new ways to work, collaborate and communicate. The companies’ new collaboration also includes a cross-license and patent transfer agreement.

Extract from a press release announcing the deepening of a global partnership between Xiaomi and Microsoft, May 31

TechInsights’ ambition is to be the preferred source of technology intelligence and advice for anyone needing that information, whether in support of patent strategies, or to support product development and road-mapping, competitive intelligence, marketing, research and education, or any other needs: scale is critical to achieving that ambition and this combination enables us to double up our value to the market.

TechInsights CEO John Day comments on his firm’s merger with long-time rival Chipworks and the creation of a combined entity that he will lead, June 2

TechInsights and Chipworks have long been leaders in the field – and I am privileged to have played a central role in the formation of both companies some twenty five years ago. I am delighted that the businesses have now been brought together so that a new business, combining the considerable strengths of both companies, is formed: it means that we will serve our clients at continually higher levels for the next twenty five years.

Chipworks founder and CEO Terry Ludlow comments on the merger with TechInsights, June 2

There are altogether 63 first-instance civil cases in which foreigners are plaintiffs. What is the winning percentage for a foreign party? You may have a guess! It is 100%! I repeat, last year there were altogether 63 first-instance civil cases in which foreigner are plaintiffs, and they all won!

Beijing IP Court judge Gang Feng reports in a speech on the success rate of foreign plaintiffs at the court in 2015, June 2

The numbers obtained suggest that PTAB proceedings against NPEs are both more likely to be instituted and, once instituted, are more likely to result in a final written decision in which all claims are cancelled. For example, while the PTAB only decides to institute 68.5% of those petitions that are filed against the patents of operating companies, that number rises to 72.9% for petitions filed against the patents of NPEs. Furthermore, while only 71.8% of PTAB proceedings instituted against patents owned by operating companies result in all instituted claims being cancelled, that number is 74.7% for proceedings instituted against patents owned by NPEs.

Lawyers from the Washington DC offices of Ropes & Gray summarise research they have undertaken into institution and success rates of inter partes reviews against non-practising entities at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, IAM blog, June 9

I’ve had a front-row seat to some of the most innovative and groundbreaking initiatives within the mobile industry, but the pioneering vision and pace of disruption that exists at LeEco is truly remarkable … LeEco is primed to fulfill the broken promises that tech companies have been making for over 20 years – a truly integrated and seamless experience that combines smart devices, applications, a cloud infrastructure and content. I am excited and privileged to join LeEco at such a pivotal moment in its history.

Joshua McGuire, previously Google’s lead legal counsel responsible for its mobile and Android patent strategy, comments on his appointment as general counsel of Chinese Internet of Things start-up LeEco, June 9

Trolls, in the patois of the patent community, are entities that hold patents for the primary purpose of enforcing them against alleged infringers, often exacting outsized licensing fees on threat of litigation.

Chief Justice John Roberts provides the first Supreme Court definition of ‘patent troll’ in the court’s unanimous decision in Halo v Pulse, June 13

When Meizu held out and refused to pay royalties, it presented Qualcomm with a dilemma. Should it sue Meizu and risk being seen as a problem again to the Chinese government, or should it wait and continue to negotiate? Given that the margins in China had gone down so much, and because Qualcomm has tried to make amends with China, Qualcomm felt like it had no choice but to try to leverage payment via litigation. This is very important to Qualcomm’s future in China, and to the company at large. If it cannot force a company to pay it royalties, Qualcomm’s licensing model is destroyed – at least in China.

Qualcomm’s former director of patents in Asia, Erick Robinson, comments on the company’s decision to institute its first patent infringement suit in China, against mobile handset manufacturer Meizu, IAM blog, June 27

Thomson Reuters today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Intellectual Property & Science business to private equity funds affiliated with Onex Corporation and Baring Private Equity Asia for $3.55 billion in cash … The Intellectual Property & Science business provides comprehensive intellectual property and scientific information, decision support tools and services that enable the lifecycle of innovation for governments, academia, publishers and corporations to discover, protect and commercialize new ideas and brands. Its portfolio includes Web of Science, Thomson CompuMark, Thomson Innovation, MarkMonitor, Thomson Reuters Cortellis and Thomson IP Manager.

Extract from a press release issued by Thomson Reuters, July 11

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