Tag Archives: IP investing

IP Dealmakers’ event Nov. 17-18 will focus on new opportunities; IP CloseUp readers can save $200

IP Dealmakers Forum is one of the more anticipated IP events of the year, especially for those engaged in patent licensing, sales, and M&A transactions. It also of signficant interest to investors. 

This year‘s event will feature a new track, Dealmaker Deep Dives, a shorter, more targeted discussions with experts taking an in-depth perspective on a specific set of issues. Each session includes extended time at the end for Q&A so the audience can really take advantage of the speakers’ expertise.

IP CloseUp readers go here for a promo code that provides a $200 discount.

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Seizing Opportunities

“With the doom and gloom over patent licensing, the last couple of years we wanted to make sure the event was addressing the many new opportunities in the market,” said Forum director Wendy Chou, “In conversations with our board of advisers, past attendees and current IP holders, we were able to identify transaction areas that are being overlooked.”

Session titles include:

       – Seizing Opportunities to Invest in China’s Developing IP Market

       – Defining the IP Landscape in IoT: Strategy, Standards & Licensing

      – Trade Secrets — What IP Investors Need to Know

There also will be a panel on “efficient infringement,” a timely topic that grew out of attendee conversations during Q&A last year. The session is called:

Building a Better IP Market: Efficient Transactions vs. Efficient Infringement

  • A look at past attempts and business models
  • What does an efficient IP market look like?
  • Identifying challenges to progress

In terms of format, IP Dealmakers Forum (IPDF) has moved from all panel discussions to a mix of panels with patent holders, deal experts and investors taking an in-depth perspective. In 2016, as in past years, there is a strong lineup of speakers with a diverse mix of senior executives representing corporations, licensing companies, public and private market investors, law firms and other strategic advisors.

One-to-Ones

Face-to-face meetings continue to be a highly utilized aspect of the event, where attendees can schedule 30 minute sessions with one or more other attendees at any time during the event. A total of more than 425 meetings were scheduled over the past two IPDF, and the producers expect an even better response in 2016.

The IP Dealmakers Forum is organized by The IP Investment Institute, LLC and its partners Wendy Chou and Eric Salvarezza.

For the full IPDF agenda, go here.

To register, go here. There are still some remaining seats.

IP Marketplace

The IP Dealmakers Forum explores the challenges and opportunities in the changing IP marketplace. Lack of IP transaction data, information, and transparency pose serious challenges to market efficiency. However, they can create opportunities for investors who know how to leverage news, manage risks and connect with the right players.

IPDF attracts senior IP market participants from the finance, legal and business communities.

Image source: ipdealmakersforum.com

Despite Limiting Dubious Rights and Behaviors, Patents are More Uncertain than Ever

It’s unclear whether attempts by lawmakers and the courts to rein-in invalid patents and bad patent-holder behavior have succeeded in improving the system.

Whatever the case savvy investors will be looking for a silver lining.

Recent United States Supreme Court and federal district court decisions and new laws making it harder to enforce patents have failed to provide a clearer definition of what is patentable.

Tested patents — including those that surmount USPTO examination hurdles and that the Patent Trial and Appeals Board elects not to review or that survive it — are likely to be more valuable than ever. Fewer, more thoroughly vetted patents are likely to be a more significant factor.

The increased time and cost necessary to enforce patents may actually improve the profit picture for NPEs unwilling to settle too quickly and with sufficient asset quality and capital to prevail. Many NPEs, however, will be knocked out of the box by higher hurdles, which is not necessarily bad, especially if their strategy is merely to bring nuisance suits for their early settlement value. Astute IP investors — and not always the obvious ones — will more than likely benefit from depressed IP prices, higher legal costs and a longer time horizon for resolving disputes.

Likely Scenarios

In “Turning Uncertainty Into Opportunity,” in the September IAM Magazine, published shortly, I look at what are some of the scenarios likely to play out in the IP investing space, especially for PIPCOs, or public IP (licensing) companies, most of Question Themewhom are feeling increased pressure.

“With patents affecting more businesses in new ways, an increase in tech M&A means more dollars will be spent on IP and the R&D that underlies it,” I write in the upcoming The Intangible Investor. “Learning to live in a world with even less patent certainty is difficult for both businesses and inventors. For investors, it presents an even greater challenge.

“Adversity of this nature may turn out to be a welcome surprise for some, presenting a foundation for new opportunities. Those rights (and holders) that are not destroyed by the patent system may indeed be made stronger by it. Is this not what free markets are all about?”

Still Rewarding

“Even if patents are less certain, holders with the right combination of quality, capital and patience will continue to be rewarded. New hurdles will not dissuade serious direct IP investors from continuing to play – nor will it stop strategic or defensive investors from stockpiling patents. Those with the best patents will dig in deeper for still rewarding if more delayed and less headline-worthy outcomes.”

The September IAM will be published in early August. Click here for subscriber access.

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New Book Takes a Hard Look at How Businesses Profit from Patents

‘The Intangible Investor’ scrutinizes how to generate the best returns in innovation — Why some significant holders would rather see patents weakened, including their own.

What is innovative? Who owns it? What are the best ways to generate a return on new ideas? These are among the most vexing questions facing businesses today.

The Intangible Investor, by IP CloseUp contributor Bruce Berman, shines a light on the controversies surrounding innovation rights, including patents that protect inventions and copyrights that cover music and books.

It also helps readers to differentiate between patent “trolls,” who rely on the high cost of litigation to secure quick settlements with questionable patents, and legitimate holders that wish to license quality rights for a market price. The motivation of parties who fuel the debate with mud-slinging and half-truths is also scrutinized.

The Intangible Investor – Profiting from Intellectual Property: Companies’ Most Elusive Assets (CloseUp Media, ISBN-13: 978-0615952352) goes to the heart of what constitutes the innovation economy: ideas, performance and utilizing intellectual property rights to generate value.

The book’s website here provides more information, as well as a sample that includes the Introduction and Foreword. 

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“Bad Actors?”

Bruce Berman’s fifth book provides businesses, investors and general audiences (1) a basis for understanding how IP can generate hidden value, (2) a foundation for what is meant by patent quality, and who, in fact, are the IP systems’ bad actors, and (3) a context to discern IP developments of the recent past in the hope of providing a clearer vision of the future.

“One of the most remarkable things about this collection is how these 64 essays written have weathered the test of time,” says Gene Quinn, editor of the popular IP Watchdog and a patent attorney who wrote the Foreword

“They are as relevant today as they were when they were written for IAM beginning in 2003, which is a testament to Berman’s forward thinking and understanding of the issues.”

The Intangible Investor is available in print and digital editions for under $20, and can be purchased on Amazon.com here.

Image source: CloseUp Media

“Hot Topic” Luncheon will Explore the Impact of Public IP Companies

Are publicly-owned businesses that monetize patents a catalyst for innovation and job creation or a roadblock to profits?

Georgia State University College of Law is featuring at its May 14 “Hot Topics” luncheon discussion of an emerging trend that has divided innovators, investors and lawmakers.

“How are Public IP Companies Affecting Innovation and Investment?” will be the focus of a mid-day presentation at which yours truly, Bruce Berman, has been invited to speak.

Pubic IP Companies, also known as PIPCOs, are an emerging trend with no fewer than 30 currently traded on U.S. and UK stock exchanges. (See IP CloseUp® 30, herefor a list.)  Some believe these businesses are no more than non-practicing entities, gsu lawNPEs, or to some patent “trolls,” re-purposed for better access to capital. Others believe that PIPCOs, some of which are operating businesses that sell products, are part of  the inevitable evolution of IP rights as an asset class, and are a viable business model.

Will IP monetization companies whose shares are bought and sold on the public stock markets deter commerce, as some academics suggest, or will they serve as a catalyst for more and better innovation, and higher return on the R&D investment that underlies patents?

Regulatory Disclosure –  Burden or Opportunity?

S.E.C. mandated disclosures will provide some transparency for public IP companies. They are an opportunity for all IP rights holders to put their intangible assets, amorphous at best, in a clearer business context. Hopefully, transparency will encourage other companies whose IP is an integral part of their particular value proposition to demonstrate more visibly the role it plays in generating return or protecting revenue and market share.

It has yet to be determined whether the investor public has the ability, or the access to the right information, to interpret complex legal developments, such as a favorable Markman hearing or a venue change in a patent litigation, and gauge their impact.

PIPCOs like Qualcomm and InterDigital have led the way, while businesses like RPX and Acacia have come up fast behind them, and still others, “micro caps” with market value typically under a few hundred million dollars, are bringing up the rear. The smallest players are most dramatically affected by a successful settlement or licensing agreement. They present the best opportunity for investor return, but they also are the most volatile.

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Past speakers at GSU Hot Topics and Corporate IP  Roundtable Annual Series have included Kevin Rivette, author of Rembrandts in the Attic, Marshall Phelps, former VP of IP Business and Strategy at IBM and Microsoft, and Judge Paul Michel, who served as the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The 9th Annual IP “Hot Topics” luncheon will confront the public IP company question head on. For those interested IP Hot Topics is being held at the GSU Student Center on May 14, 2013 at 12 Noon. I look forward to seeing you there.

Register here to attend. Or contact Christine Nwakamma at 404.413.9083, cnwakamma@gsu.edu.

Image source: GSU.edu

Patent Stock Review Aims to Help Investors Compare IP Companies

News aggregator serves up a convenient summary of developments in the public patent space.

Patent Stock Review, a news and analysis website started earlier this year, provides easy to access background on a wide range of public companies involved in patent monetization, including Vringo, VirnetX and Acacia, as well as many that are less well-known.

Published by Institutional Analyst, Inc.(AIA), an investment research firm founded in 1998 by Roland Rick Perry an editor, part-time analyst and investor communications consultant. Mr. Perry is responsible for launching the Internet Stock Review, and also provides coverage for companies in a number of distinct industries including, Biotech, Internet, Entertainment, Restaurants, Special Situations and Private Equity.

Patent Stock Review is not rocket science, but it is very useful. Like many good ideas, it compels a reader to ask, “Now, why didn’t I think of that?”  With its evolving core Watch List, it is a well-timed addition to the public IP company (or PIPCO) information space. Particularly useful are the latest blog posts and most popular blog posts, which provide insight into what people are saying. 

“The Watch List, was created as a starting point for investors who are interested in companies involved in Patent Monetization via internally held patents, patent portfolios or through the acquisition of potentially valuable TurtlesSharkslpatents,” says Mr. Perry. “The list is not a buy list, but rather our universe of companies, whose technology, management, patent portfolio and/or recent market performance we currently find compelling.”

Mr. Perry started Institutional Analyst, the predecessor to IAI,  in 1995. Earlier in his career he was a broker at Drexel Burnham Lambert. While most of the companies he updates are not his clients, Mr. Perry says that to align IAI’s with shareholders, he “seeks to have 90% of clients’ retainer represented by an equity stake.”  The Patent Stock Review is a wholly owned subsidiary of a public relations firm Institutional Analyst Inc. (IAI), which provides or creates coverage for publicly traded companies.

Voyage of Discovery

“The impetus behind the Watch List issuance is to bring attention to the names and/or to the existence of these companies, particularly those with no coverage on Wall Street,” continues Mr. Perry, “and then to have the investors themselves, do the due diligence necessary to decide on their own if any of the companies warrant further study and/or investment.”

The website provides individual news feeds for each company on the Watch List, enabling investors to easily follow the entire group with a single visit. Through Thomson Financial, the Patent Stock Review’s hard copy research reports are made available to more than 22,000  institutional money management firms and over 950 research firms including brokers, investment banks and independent research firms.

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Look for expanded PIPCO 30 list in a future IP CloseUp.

Image source: patentstockanalyst.com


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