7 Feb
2021

IBM abandonments soar; China scraps patent subsidies; UK EPO membership doubts; Acacia targets five with Yahoo! IP; New plan to judge SEP essentiality; and much more

Everything we covered on IAM over the last seven days – and all you need to know from the global IP market to set yourself up for the start of another busy week

The Long Read

As the European Commission calls for reform of the framework governing the declaration, licensing and enforcement of SEPs, former EPO chief economist Nikolaus Thumm and ex-Philips CIPO Ruud Peters outline a six-point plan to create an effective structure for assessing essentiality. Read more here

MONDAY 1st February

South Korea’s prime minister weighed in on the country’s most high-profile IP dispute last week, describing a trades secrets clash between LG and SK as a national embarrassment. Read more here

A referral to the CJEU from the District of Court of Munich may end current practice in Germany which makes it very tough for certain kinds of patent owner to secure preliminary injunctions. Read more here

Less than a year after it acquired the former Yahoo! portfolio, Acacia has brought its first suits involving the patents, targeting Workday, Target, Walmart, Deezer and Samsung Electronics. Read more here

TUESDAY 2nd February

A potential sale or closure of the LG Electronics smartphone business would have implications for one of the world’s biggest portfolios of 5G and other wireless patents. Read more here

Trail-blazing biopharma company Roivant has pioneered a new model for monetising patents, setting important precedents for life sciences industry dealmaking. Read more here

PTAB reforms have put a renewed emphasis on speed in filing post-issuance reviews and the numbers show a steady acceleration through the second half of last year. Read more here

WEDNESDAY 3rd February

Asahi Kasei and Mitsubishi Chemical have each announced Chinese litigation victories against local competitors, a positive sign that Japanese firms can use their IP to fend off challengers in China. Read more here

The recent selections of James Mellor QC and Richard Meade QC as judges for the Patents Court is reassurance that the UK remains a safe pair of hands for IP disputes. Read more here

Companies in the online retailer market are sitting on increasingly valuable patent portfolios. That makes an escalating litigation battle between Ocado and AutoStore well worth watching. Read more here

THURSDAY 4th February

Unified Patents has filed its first invalidation request against a Chinese patent – the latest expansion for the defensive service provider best known for its PTAB practice. Read more here

The UK’s wish to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership raises questions about its continued membership of the European Patent Organisation. Read more here

Recent Federal Circuit case law on section 112(a) has raised serious doubts over the enforceability of US genus claims, leaving life sciences rights holders in a quandary. Read more here

Revenues from Qualcomm’s licensing business grew 18% year-on-year in 2020 and division head Rogers holds out prospect of new programme for auto sector. Read more here

FRIDAY 5th February

The Chinese government has announced subsidies for patent applications will end by 2025, reversing a policy that has fuelled the country’s staggering filings growth for more than two decades. Read more here

Data analysis conducted by IAM indicates that IBM is now abandoning US patents due for renewal at the rate of more than 50% a year. Read more here

Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark has emphasised the importance of IP creation and monetisation to the company despite a small drop in licensing profits. Read more here

SATURDAY 6th February

No, patent rights are not the barrier to mass roll-out of covid-19 vaccines. In fact, IP has helped rather than hindered their development. Read more here

Joff Wild

Author | Editor-in-chief

[email protected]

Joff Wild