IP Business Congress: Blog Summaries for Those Who Couldn’t Attend

The IP Business Congress (“IPBC”) was held on June 21-23 in Chicago. This meeting, established by IAM Magazine, brought IP business experts, both lawyers and non-lawyers, from around the world to discuss issues relevant to IP. If, like me, you were unable to attend, you will appreciate the blog authors who have thoughtfully posted their summaries and thoughts about the Congress. (If anyone comes across any more, please let me know and I will add them.) Joff Wild: IAM Magazine Blog Michael Martin: Broken Symetry Blog Duncan Bucknell: IP ThinkTank Blog Peter Zura: 271 Blog (Great overview of the NPE break-out session) IP.com: Securing Innovation (Interviews with IP Hall of Fame Inductees) Tweet This Buzz This Delicious Digg This Reddit Stumble This

Everything’s Negotiable: How Corporations Can Drastically Reduce Their IP Legal Costs without Sacrificing IP Quality

Corporate legal managers and the business teams they support complain seemingly constantly about outside counsel expense, and intellectual property (“IP”) is no exception. And, why wouldn’t they complain when every dollar spent on legal representation is money that is effectively removed from the company’s P&L statement? This sets up an ongoing tension between corporations and law firms to reduce legal costs even while lawyers’ incomes have sky-rocketed in recent years. For most corporate buyers of legal services, however, the ability to obtain substantive cost reduction has been somewhat limited due to the lack of transparent information available about legal fees. It may be even more difficult for corporate legal services buyers to gain meaningful reductions in IP costs because of the highly specialized nature of this area of law practice which, arguably, makes IP more of a “Black Box” than most areas. Moreover, regardless of the type of law involved, clients just don’t talk about what they pay for lawyers because of the confidential nature of the details underlying such information. In any event, even if they could share such information with their peers, the highly subjective nature of legal representation–IP or otherwise–would make cost comparisons between clients not particularly Continue Reading →

Is There an Emerging Business Model for IP Lawyers’ Owning So-Called "Patent Trolls"? Only Until Their Corporate Clients Find Out.

Dennis Crouch of The PatentlyO blog recently posted an intriguing tidbit about about well-known IP attorneys Carl Moore (Of counsel at Marshall Gerstein); Timothy Vezeau (patent attorney at Katten Muchin); and Nate Scarpelli (who used to and still appears to be associated with Marshall Gerstein). These prominent members of the Chicago IP community appear to be “moon-lighting” from their respective law practices to act as managing partners at a patent holding company called “Virtual Photo Store LLC” (“VPS”). As reported in PatentlyO, VPS is currently involved as defendant in a Declaratory Judgment action. Here is a copy of the DJ Complaint, also posted at PatentlyO. (Interestingly, the Complaint lists VPS’ address as that of the Marshall, Gerstein law firm.)The Complaint alleges that VPS is a non-practicing entity (“NPE”) owner of several patents that appear to be related to digital image processing. Mssrs. Moore, Vezeau and Scarpelli allegedly own a company that operates under a business model directed toward enforcement of patent rights alone. In other words, VPS is company in that does not actually make, use or sell a product covered by the claims of the patent, which gives rise to the “NPE” moniker. (Of course, NPEs are more pejoratively Continue Reading →

News Items: IAM 250, IP Metrics Benchmarking Study and New Blog for Innovation Entrepreneurs

Regular readers of the IP Asset Maximizer blog will note that my postings have been a bit sparse lately. I have been taking some time off with my family, and will be continuing to do so until later in June 2009. I appreciate your patience. I have some timely news items to share in the interim, however. IAM 250 Awards  I am proud to announce that I have been named one of the IAM 250 for 2009. This award is given by IAM Magazine to those non-corporate IP Strategists judged by their peers as the leaders in IP Strategy. With Duncan Bucknell, Suzanne Harrison, Kevin Rivette, Andrew Watson and many others whom I respect greatly on the list, it is a great honor to appear on this inaugural list of the world’s leaders in IP Strategy. IP Metrics Survey Kate Shore of IPCapital Group let me know that her company has developed a benchmarking survey to assess how companies are using metrics and key performance indicators in relation to their IP portfolios and processes. Details are found in the IPCapital Group blog. The survey closes on June 17. New Blog for Innovators Over the past several months, the folks at Continue Reading →