Our Top Five IP Dealmakers Forum Tweets...
Markman Advisors LLC
One of the events of the year in the IP monetization world is the IP Dealmakers Forum. As usual, Twitter (e.g. @ipdealmakers, @iam_magazine, and others) has been a great resource for those hoping to follow the conference without actually attending. Here is our take on the Top Five IP Dealmakers Forum Tweets...spiced with a bit of our commentary on the points being made.
Former CAFC Chief Paul Michel - If you ask members of Congress and their staffers what they think about patents they r going to tell u 3 myths - most patents r invalid, most lawsuits r abusive and most patent owners asserting patents who are not practising them r abusers #IPDF17
MA Take: For those opposed to IPR's, Judge Michel identifies a key concern -- that the entire system is the fruit of a tree with poisoned roots to the extent that lawmakers are divorced from the reality of patent litigation. But a big part of the problem is the lack of faith in the USPTO's ability to control patent quality, which remains in tension with the Supreme Court's consistent endorsement of the presumption of validity that attaches to asserted patents in litigation. Well, its on to Oil States' oral argument for the next piece of ammo in the IPR debate.
NPEs will have success only if they contribute before they take. Better to align interests with Chinese industry. -Wang #IPDF17
MA Take: The importance of China as an IP monetization jurisdiction can't be overstated. On the one hand, Chinese multinationals remain prime targets for NPE and operating company suits in the US. On the other, the Chinese domestic IP scene is in the midst of a transformation, and what's clear from the commentary in the tweet above and at the conference is that the rules that domestic NPE's will need to follow will be very different than what US-based NPE's are used to. Whither the first fully-funded and patent-stocked NPE fully comfortable operating in both the US and China?
Jim Skippen of WiLAN - There was a time when we’d look at a single patent to see if it was interesting, now much more focused on portfolios #IPDF17
MA Take: This tweet makes plain the current landscape for would-be patent sellers. If you only have a single patent, even one with open continuations, you must either be prepared to wait until your prosecution efforts lead to a more robust portfolio, or else expect that your sales efforts will be met with a lot of closed doors. While we are seeing more companies with broad portfolios looking for monetization partners, the segment of the market where single patent sellers live --usually smaller companies or individual inventors -- is particularly depressed right now.
Shore - we're living in a banana republic. Silicon Valley owns Congress and the executive branch. The only difference between us and Honduras in early C20th is that instead of bananas it’s smartphones and software #IPDF17
MA Take: While this view is debatable, it is of interest that as the penetration of Silicon Valley's products increases into the daily lives of nearly everyone in the country, the willingness of both the Congress and the public-at-large to look the other way while "efficient infringement" occurs likewise increases. In contrast, IP-dependent industries like pharmaceuticals are facing a double-whammy of congressional and public skepticism, driven primarily by disenchantment over drug prices, but also viewed by the growing perception that their pricing monopolies are sustained on the backs of weak patents. We may or may not be living in a banana republic, but its important for patent owners and their counselors to realize that public perception about the relative strength of IP matters, and certain industries may be favored over others as a result.
Friedman - There's still so much of a gap between what finance knows about IP and what IP knows about the Street #IPDF17
MA Take: We couldn't agree more with this tweet, and think there is a role to play for those who would help bridge the information gap. The expertise is available on both sides of the river, and as Wall Street begins to appreciate the importance of IP to company bottom lines more, there will be a greater willingness amongst investors to actually dedicate resources towards staying informed on relevant IP developments. Likewise, as smarter money comes into the IP monetization space, we should continue to see patent owners and NPE's experiment with new funding models and licensing approaches.
So five tweets, and five takes. One thing remains true -- IP monetization is a challenging, but exciting, business.