What led to you founding your own firm – and what advice do you have for anyone considering taking a similar step?
I founded Adapt on the premise that each IP transaction was unique and should be treated with finding creative solutions to drive successful outcomes. Beyond wanting to embrace new opportunities with different approaches, I wished to personally be in control of the success of our company and create a meaningful company of which I could be proud. For those considering taking the leap to founding your own firm, bet on yourself and jump. Downside protection is always going back to being employed by someone else.
How do you create individual strategies for clients with very different needs yet always maintain a consistent level of service?
The first consideration is always trying to fine-tune the balance of the type and quantity of projects that we accept. Our project compensation models are largely contingency fee-based, so we must select projects that we believe will be successful. We really try to align client expectations with deal structure alternatives and attempt to envision various revenue models to help clients accomplish their economic goals. The second consideration is to set client expectations on level of service. This is an area that we are always trying to improve.
Which of your deals has been the most memorable and why?
Many of our projects involve individual inventors or small start-ups. It is very fulfilling to see transactions conclude for this group of clients as the deals are impactful to many personal lives. On the corporate front, we represent a UK-based defence contractor and have executed numerous IP transactions on their behalf, including sales of quantum security assets to an early-stage company, security assets to a patent aggregator and WiFi/communications assets to a patent enforcement entity. These transactions are memorable because the economics of each sale were different (ie, upfront payments, milestone-based payments and contingency-based payments), and the types of parties were each unique with their own sets of execution challenges. Additionally, this project was special because my partner, Brian Bochicco, sourced the client and we collaboratively executed these various monetisation outcomes, confirming our ability to identify unique patent portfolios with commercial value and deliver unique outcomes that best fit the needs of the client for each portfolio.
If you could make three changes to the US licensing space, what would they be and how likely do you think they are to happen?
The number of, and frequency of, our successful, non-litigation licensing transactions outpace our patent sale transactions. My focus is on improving the frequency of non-litigation licensing outcomes.
First through perception. Licensing offerings are not always a precursor to litigation but are often treated that way. I would like to see licensing offerings treated like other asset syndicate offerings (eg, early-stage companies, real estate and art) where broader marketplaces can drive investment. This is partially happening with various aggregators, but improvement is needed. Second, through pricing. Reasonable price discovery mechanisms to disclose pricing expectations early in deal discussions need to improve. Defining both acquisition and licensing pricing options early in negotiations drives transparency. Improvements can be made by negotiated transactions, allowing for greater disclosure of deal terms between potential licensees and aggregated market statistics. Finally, through staging – I would like to see venture capital and private equity companies clear portfolio company risk by acquiring licensing rights for their portfolio companies, as these funds invest in numerous companies in similar markets or verticals.
How do you expect the IP transactions space to evolve as more and more industries continue to be affected by technological convergence?
Commercial friction resulting from technological convergence will increase the focus on IP rights. There will need to be a balance of education and investment in IP transactions to mitigate risk, provide negotiation leverage and support new technology development opportunities between converging industries’ participants to drive collaborative IP transactions.
Founder and President
Grant Moss is the founder and president of Adapt IP Ventures LLC, an IP transactions and advisory firm that assists innovative companies to sell, license and acquire patents, technology and other IP assets, as well as IP valuationrelated engagements. Mr Moss has successfully developed and led patent sales, licensing and acquisition programmes across a diverse set of industries, generating multimillion-dollar returns for his clients and partners.