The Ocean Tomo IP Conference: Topics of Conversation in the IP Market

By: Ian McClure
ritz-carlton-san-francisco

I returned from the Ocean Tomo Spring 2009 Conference and Auction in San Francisco with a head full of questions about the status of the market.  The market continues to grow, and that is a fact evidenced by the number of professionals and market participants that attended the conference.  Nevermind the dismal auction results, which will be the subject of another post, the conference itself and the overall optimistic and enthusiastic mood of discussion that buzzed through the rooms and halls of ... Read More

Categories: Burgeoning Business, Copyright Caucus, Investment Intelligence, Patent Prospects, Portfolio Potential, Trademark Trends

Director Liability for Mismanagement of IP Assets

By: Ian McClure
board20of20directors

As a corporate law practitioner, an interesting IP question that pops up with more regularity is whether and under what circumstances a director of a corporation may be held personally liable for mismanagement of intellectual property.  This question is usually not posed with reference to conflict of interest possibilities, but instead with regard to the duty of care and its implications on maintaining complete information and making sound decisions with regard to that IP.   Of course, many board members don't completely understand the ins ... Read More

Categories: Burgeoning Business, Copyright Caucus, Investment Intelligence, Patent Prospects, Portfolio Potential, Trademark Trends

IP Valuation Revisited

By: Ian McClure
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A few months ago a post on Joff Wild's IAM blog sparked a great debate about the valuation of IP, the difference in valuation contexts, and the viability of a practical approach.  Jumping into the discussion late, Michael Martin of Broken Symmetry posted a "final word" comment on Wild's post and on Broken Symmetry.  A few of his words moved me to revisit the IP valuation discussion on IP Prospective with a few of the standard-setting initiatives that have commenced, old and new.  One of ... Read More

Categories: Burgeoning Business, Copyright Caucus, Investment Intelligence, Monetizing IP, Patent Prospects, Portfolio Potential, Trademark Trends

Upcoming Important Dates in Intellectual Property

By: Ian McClure
uncitral

March 26-27 - Ocean Tomo commences its IP Markets 2009 campaign with their Spring IP Auction at the Ritz in San Francisco.  This auction is important for Ocean Tomo, as they have recently undergone a restructuring, and rumor has it that their Summer and Fall auctions could be postponed due to the economic climate and its possible impact on pricing.  The conference begeins on Thursday, with three panel tracks covering IP in M&A, Buying & Selling IP, and Greentech IP and Investing.  ... Read More

Categories: Burgeoning Business, Copyright Caucus, Investment Intelligence, Patent Prospects, Portfolio Potential, Trademark Trends

On Monopoly and Intellectual Property

By: Ian McClure
monopoly_photoshop_template

Headlines of late have concerned themselves with competition, or the lack thereof, created by certain adopted business methods or maneuvers. With the inauguration of a new President came a proposed tougher stance on antitrust issues. Obama appointed Christine A. Varney to head the Justice Department's antitrust division in a move that was meant to send a warning signal that the new administration was cracking down on companies vying for monopoly market positions. Google is not new to the monopoly discussion. Varney has already ... Read More

Categories: Burgeoning Business, Copyright Caucus, Patent Prospects, Portfolio Potential

UK Decision on Compensation for Employee Inventors; U.S. Considerations

By: Ian McClure
uk-flag

Last week, a landmark decision in a Patent Court in England finally broke ground for employee inventors in the UK trying to receive royalties for their inventions' added value.  The case, Kelly and Chiu v GE Healthcare Ltd [2009] EWHC 181 (Pat), enforced provisions of UK patent law that had been introduced over thirty years ago and amended recently to add teeth.  Specifically, the provision provides for employee inventors to receive compensation for a patent's added benefit to corporate value.  As IPKat reports, the decision ... Read More

Categories: Burgeoning Business, Patent Prospects

Venture Capital vs. Venetian Capital

By: Ian McClure
venice-cruises-1

An investment banker friend sent me a very interesting blog post from Broken Symmetry.  It creatively considers an historical analogy, at the intersect of business method and creative process, between 15th Century Venice and modern day Silicon Valley.  The piece goes on to discuss comparisons between the two, such as their isolated position from other major metropolitan centers (Florence and Rome, LA and New York), or their aspiring classes of artisans and entrepreneurs.  There also exists a parallel between the investors of both ... Read More

Categories: Burgeoning Business, Copyright Caucus, Investment Intelligence, Patent Prospects, Portfolio Potential, Trademark Trends

Monetizing IP: Investing in Defensive IP Aggregators

By: Ian McClure
troll-web

The success of "patent trolls" has been the root of a new anti-patent troll model implemented to defeat the patent troll movement and instill value in precious IP. RPX, a San Francisco-based start-up, is a "defensive IP aggregator". It is a firm that buys up free-market patents in an effort to safeguard tech companies from expensive patent lawsuits. The firm sells memberships to companies based on the company's operating income, and then turns around and buys patents on the market that relate, ... Read More

Categories: Monetizing IP, Patent Prospects, Portfolio Potential

Monetizing IP: Patent Pools & Copyright Catalogs

By: Ian McClure
competitionpool5

A somewhat recent phenomenon in the patent arena is the creation of "patent pools", where a number of dynamic companies with different agendas throw their patents onto a single licensing platform making their patents available under common terms. In effect, a company's IP is available to pool members, but barriers to enter the market are effectively erected, causing more prospective competitors to license from the patent pool. Therefore, even when a company's specific patent is not needed, it reaps the benefit. These ... Read More

Categories: Burgeoning Business, Monetizing IP, Patent Prospects, Portfolio Potential

A New President, A New Patent Policy?

By: Ian McClure
obama

Today's Inauguration of the 44th President, Barack Obama, holds heavy implications on every American political policy, including our domestic and foreign patent policies.  The President is charged with the responsibility of appointing a Director of the PTO, who's leadership could reflect a resurgence of innovation preeminence for the U.S.   Also, Federal Circuit openings must be filled by the President over the next 4 years, and  knowledgeable appointees will be a crucial element to a regained preeminence. The PTO and the Federal Circuit have, at ... Read More

Categories: Patent Prospects

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