Has your affiliation with the AICPA and LES had a noteworthy impact on your professional development, and if so, how?
My career has definitely benefitted from affiliation with both the AICPA and LES. Both organisations were instrumental in my professional development over the years as a certified public account and licensing professional, providing guidance and training.
What have been the most important lessons you have learned over the course of your 30-year career?
There have been so many. The most important lesson for me in the IP world has been that patent value depends on your business and competitive perspective. To be successful in licensing negotiations, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the person on the other side of the table, see their point of view and find common ground to get deals done outside of the courtroom.
To what do you attribute your success?
Years of hard work, willingness to learn from others and change course with the changing of the market, and trying hard to be in the right place at the right time. As I have learned, a career in the patent commercialisation field often spans many significant changes. I have tried to adjust my career over the years to account for such changes and have kept trying to be in (or close to) the right place at the right time.
How do you predict that the US patent landscape might evolve within the next 12 months?
Slowly! A 12-month horizon is incredibly short in the US patent landscape. However, I do believe that a continuation of the 10+ year trend of investment dollars flowing into the patent marketplace is reaching critical mass and providing innovators with options that were hot topics previously, but not yet fully developed. An excellent example is the business model advanced by Avanci for innovators in the IoT marketplace. Their seemingly rapid success is instead based on decades of experience and success by the professionals who risked a lot and came together at the right time in the licensing marketplace.
The landscape for patent eligibility in the United States continues to remain uncertain – what steps might improve this situation?
A combination of clarity in patent eligibility language both legislatively from Congress and administratively from the patent office to stay competitive with the rest of the world. However, the United States should carefully consider other countries’ efforts to implement clarity regarding eligibility and decide what works and what does not in order to foster true innovation and allow the United States to remain on the forefront of global innovation.
David Kennedy is an expert in IP valuation, analysis of claims for infringement damages and negotiating economics of patent sales and licensing agreements. His experience includes determining reasonable royalty rates and performing patent portfolio valuations. He has also managed IP holding companies, raised venture capital for IP-based companies and provided strategic advice to companies and universities related to patent portfolio divestitures.