Issue 81 of IAM has been published and is available online for subscribers. Hard copies are in the post and should be with you shortly.
Everyone operating in the US patent market knows just how tough it is and brokers probably realise it more than most. After all, they are the ones on the transactional frontline and their livelihoods depend on getting deals done. In issue 81’s cover story, we publish the results of the annual Richardson Oliver Law Group survey of the US brokered patent market. The bad news is that prices are as low as they have ever been, while Alice has almost totally crushed demand for fintech patents and dented the attractiveness of software assets. However, there is good news too: sales continue to take place and new disposal opportunities are emerging. “The brokered market is down, but robust and viable,” the authors conclude.
Few individuals in the IP world have held as many high-profile positions as Laura Quatela. While president of Eastman Kodak, she oversaw the IP function in the lead-up to and during its bankruptcy, which ended in a ground-breaking $500 million syndicated patent sale; then as corporate head of intellectual property at Alcatel-Lucent, with a report direct to the CEO, she was closely involved in the negotiations surrounding the company’s multibillion-dollar acquisition by Nokia. What is more, she sits on the board of Technicolor, one of Europe’s leading technology and patent licensing businesses. Now Quatela has taken on perhaps her biggest challenge – as chief legal officer of Lenovo. She talks exclusively to us about her new role and what a life in patents has taught her.
Elsewhere, we take a deep dive into the Chinese litigation environment, with advice on how foreign companies facing allegations of infringement can defend themselves effectively. We also visit Japan to get the lowdown on the ways in which suggested changes to the country’s patent regime may affect corporate IP strategies; and there is a fascinating insight into TSMC’s use of its trade secret policy as a means to create corporate value.
From the United States, meanwhile, we take a closer look at the challenges which the Patent Trial and Appeal Board presents to the life sciences industries, as well as the state of play for software patents, with two articles examining the subject from very different angles. Make time, too, for a piece which compares and contrasts how the US Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office fare when it comes to tackling patent quality.