New Patent Businesses are Diverse and Well-Capitalized
A wider range of intelligent businesses are achieving higher returns on patents by extracting direct profits or providing defensive leverage.
The Patent Monetization Landscape below is a graphic illustration of these businesses developed by Brody Berman Associates in conjunction with the IP Investment Group at Coller Captial, a London-based private equity firm and one the of the leading independent patent holders.
Size, Source and Strategy
The graph examines the relative size of these patent holders, whether they use their own patents or acquire them (or both), and how aggressive or defensive their strategy. A fuller exposition appears in The Intangible Investor, my column, running in the September IAM magazine.
In this increasingly crowded and still evolving landscape few holders fit the same business mold, and only some can be considered outright “trolls.” The analysis shows that there are some entities that never sue, others that do so occasionally, and still others that are almost entirely about litigation.
My hope is the Patent Monetization Landscape will serve as a springboard for further analysis of monetization strategies. (The graph is not drawn to exact scale and does not include life science companies or those whose primary income generation is through product sales.)
As I explain in the upcoming Intangible Investor: “Operating companies are learning that they, too, can benefit from the [monetization] landscape as well as NPEs. Defraying costs associated with R&D, prosecution, PTO filings and litigation through a rights sale, purchase or partnership can provide valuable efficiencies and increase ROI, without necessarily increasing the risk of litigation or having to sue customers or vendors.”
They also can help to secure the rights they need for sales and design freedom.
A full-screen the Patent Monetization Landscape above can be achieved by clicking on the icon at the lower right of the slide.
Image source: Brody Berman Associates
This article is quite welcome. It’s time the public started to differentiate among “patent trolls” (i.e., bad actors or abusers of the system) and NPEs (non-practicing entities, of which Thomas Edison was one). IP monetization in itself is not necessarily negative, and legitimate patent enforcers should not be vilified along with those who do abuse the patent system.