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Google Lawsuit Reveals Patent Monetization Strategies Of BT And Goldman Sachs

Suffolk Technologies, a Delaware LLC, accused AOL and Google of infringing patents–including US Patent 6,081,835–through the use of Google AdWords and AdSense.  A lawsuit filed in June 2012 explained that the patents originated at British Telecom (BT), and a series of simultaneously recorded assignments shows the patents subsequently assigned to IPValue and then Suffolk.  According to an … Continue reading

Notes

  •   Joff Wild at IAM reported that Peter Holden, formerly of Coller Capital, partnered with IP Value to create a new IP investment fund.  Wild's reports confirms rumors that surfaced during litigation between Coller and a scorned, would-be patent buyer.  Meanwhile, Eran Zur's departure from RPX was delayed from August 1st to August 10th according to an earlier report from the companyZur's updated LinkedIn profile as of this week announces a new role as Managing Parter at Koru Ventures.  
  • Earlier this week, reports of Intellectual Ventures recent license agreement with Cypress Semiconductor surfaced.  Cypress requested confidential treatment in an SEC filing disclosing that the semiconductor maker "agreed to pay a license fee and to purchase certain litigation defense services from IV in the future."  The filing mentions a related agreement in which "IV is expected to make certain patent purchases from [Cypress] in the near term." On its website, Intellectual Ventures explained that the agreement with Cypress "establishes a long-term relationship which allows for further IP transactions and cooperation in the future."  IV also carried a statement from Cypress' CFO, touting that the "recently executed agreements will provide both companies with access to an ever-increasing pool of patent assets, which is consistent with our patent strategies.” Reading between the lines, a possible arrangement may be in the works where Cypress pays below market rates for a global IV license, while offloading patents to an IV-controlled company and potentially participating in generated revenue streams from any resulting licensing programs, similar to the arrangement believed to exist between IV, Micron and Round Rock.
  • So, less than 24 hours after I wrote that "sometimes the day is not complete without a column ... about how our patent system is malfunctioning and not performing its goal of 'promoting innovation,'" we have this insipid entry from the Wall Street Journal and Andy Kessler.  The piece is a fairly predictable diatribe, but I really don't feel like subjecting myself to News Corp spam just to set Mr. Kessler straight. According to Kessler, "Clearly we'd be better off having Microsoft, Apple and Google spending $1 billion on developing new products rather than buying up patents." Unfortunately, I can't see into alternate dimensions of our universe the way Kessler can, so I'll just have to take his word for it that rewarding the creators of, and those smart enough to invest in, the technology we fundamentally rely on today won't have a positive effect by encouraging tomorrow's creators and investors to keep doing their thing . . .
  • Earlier today, PatentlyO re-ran last week's article Intellectual Ventures Flexes Some Patent Muscle, so please take a visit (link) if you were curious what the story would look like in a maroon color scheme ...
  • If you’re interested in Congress making an informed decision about the upcoming patent reform vote (H.R. 1249), encourage your Senate staffers to attended today’s briefing sponsored by the U.S. Business & Industry Council.    The speaker’s lineup includes views from a retired Federal judge, Angel investor, head of a venture capital firm and a constitutional law expert. More information here.
  • General Patent Corp. has issued a survey on patent reform which may offer some real insight into what actual businesses, small and large, think about the proposed legislation (HR 1249).  The survey may be accessed here.  One of the more interesting questions is #18 on whether the responders favor a "two-tiered" patent system.
  • While patent attorney Elliot Furman was interviewed about a patent filed in 1998, he uttered the following nonsense: “That is an absolutely ridiculous claim. If this patent was filed today, it would almost certainly be rejected.”  Quite true, Mr. Furman.  Incidentally, if I filed a patent on Mr. Edison's light bulb, or the Wright Brother's warped wings today, it too would almost certainly be rejected.
  • Senator Reid filed cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R.1249, the Patent Reform bill. The cloture vote will occur on Tuesday, September 6th after 5:30pm. Cloture will cut off debate and bring Patent Reform to a final vote.
  • It appears that Walker Digital and Apple reached a possible patent licensing deal, as Walker voluntarily dismissed Apple from two of its lawsuits.
  • Earlier today, I asked deputy PTO director Teresa Stanek-Rea about what effect a rumored compromise to strip the fee diversion portions of patent reform would have on the patent office's support for the legislation. She wasn't able to tell me whether the Commerce Department or Obama administration was prepared to take a position on the bill if these funding provisions were removed, but acknowledged that implementing the remaining reforms without guaranteed fee retention would be very difficult.
  • From Hal Wegner: "On Wednesday, June 22, 2011 the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for legislative business… and likely begin consideration of H.R. 2021 1249 - America Invents Act." Of course, we've all heard that before.
  • Dale Halling is reporting that the America Invents Act is being pulled from the House floor and will not be voted on.
  • Reported this morning from Politico's Huddle: The House Rules Committee postponed a planned Tuesday afternoon markup of legislation that would rewrite patent law because of an unresolved dispute over whether to give the Patent and Trademark Office full control over the money that it raises through fees or continue to require an annual congressional appropriation for its budget.
  • The Manager's Amendment, and 40 other amendments could be voted on today. Among the amendments, a notable one backed by Congressmen Conyers (MI), Sensenbrenner (WI) and Mazullo (IL) would strike everything except for Sections 22 and 31 relating to patent office funding. UPDATE: The same congressmen, joined also by Kaptur (OH) have sent a letter quoting from Constitutional scholar Jonathon Massey, and the WARF Managing Director outlining a number of reasons to oppose HR 1249.
  • Back in March, I quietly predicted (in a comment on the IPBiz blog) that I "expect the House appropriations committee to kill the anti-fee diversion part of the bill."  Today, the WSJ is reporting that Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers sent a letter to Lamar Smith opposing what he views as a "proposed shift of billions in discretionary funding and fee collections to mandatory spending."  I hate being right.
  • Today, in deciding the patent ownership dispute between Stanford University and Roche, Chief Justice Roberts opened the Court's opinion with the following statement: "Since 1790, patent law has operated on the premise that rights in an invention belong to the inventor."  The America Invents Act would greatly diminish that premise.
  • An interesting addition to my earlier post about the patent licensing business, there's another data point that demonstrates how profitable it can be. According to a Citi analyst this morning, Microsoft receives $5 from HTC for every phone running the Android operating system, meaning Microsoft has received five times more income from Android than from Windows Phone. Numbers provided by asymco interactive suggest that 30 million shipments of HTC android devices would result in $150 M, compared with $30 M for 2 million Windows Phone licenses (not device shipments) at an estimated $15 ea.
  • In an article discussing the inevitable demise of patent litigation, a subject covered in much detail on this blog, how surprising is it that the author found a patent litigator to throw cold water on the whole concept.  Color me shocked.
  • Working on an article regarding this press release about Walker Digital using ICAP Ocean Tomo to negotiate FTO with its litigation defendants. If you have any thoughts to share (either privately or publicly), leave a comment or contact me directly.
  • Contrary to my earlier update (relying on a MarketWatch article), RPXC began trading around 11:30 AM (NY time). Trading opened at $24.10 per share and is currently hovering a little over $23. As IAM's Joff Wild points out, this values the firm at close to, if not over $1 Billion.  (Earlier GametimeIP discussion at RPX IPO Wednesday; Own A Piece Of Patent Monetization For $16).
  • Despite earlier reports, RPX will now begin trading on Thursday under the symbol RPXC.  Meanwhile, the company is likely excited that the stock priced at $19 / share, above the $16-$18 expected.
  • Nathan Vardi at Forbes says that RPX's business is "trying to slay the monster they helped create." (See RPX IPO Helps Slay Patent Trolls - Nathan Vardi - The Jungle - Forbes.)  The "they helped create" part refers to Amster's involvement in Intellectual Ventures, but without NPEs and patent assertion, RPX wouldn't have a business in the first place.
  • Rather than incur the wrath of Judge Folsom, Echostar agreed to pay half a billion dollars for rights to use (and continue to use) TiVo's patented time-warping methods. The past several years represent millions lost by TiVo in both litigation expenses and time lost, which, as Mike Masnick suggests, could have been re-invested by TiVo years ago to continue innovating.
  • I'll definitely have more to say about this, but RPX's IPO is scheduled to take place next week.
  • I was saddened to hear the news about IP Professor Keith Aoki's passing today. I met him only once, but he was very warm, friendly and engaging.

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