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IP Quality Must be a Key Feature in Any Financial Product Based on IP Assets

Neil Wilkof of the great IP Finance blog brought up a couple of interesting issues in his latest blog post entitled Securitization of IP: Urban Legend, or Playing Soon in a Theatre Near You? Specifically, he wonders if the desire for innovative (and not discredited) financial products today will result in the emergence of IP securitization as a model for raising capital and, if so, if the there will be a place for IP professionals in the process of valuing such IP.  I recommend Neil's post to anyone who is interested in how IP assets might be leveraged to create opportunities outside of the usual protection of the IP owner's products and technology. Moreover, I agree with Neil's view that if IP is going to be a recognized as a means to raise capital, improvements have to be made in the way finance and IP professionals interact. Put simply,

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Reality Check for Inventors: Most Corporations Will Not Give Your Idea a First Look. Here’s Some Reasons Why.

Many people assume that corporations will readily consider good ideas from external sources, presumably because from the outside it makes sense to do so.  That is, why should a corporation spend the time and money to create something from scratch if someone else has invented a product or technology that is a good fit and can be acquired at a reasonable cost?  Against this assumption, countless numbers of inventors have expended considerable time, money and hopes on patenting their inventions and submitting them to corporations for review. 
The sad truth is that most of the money and efforts of these hopeful inventors are wasted.  Few corporations today have policies that make it possible for their employees to gather unsolicited ideas from outside of their existing employee or supplier base.  Ideas sent to the corporation by outside inventors rarely get reviewed for merit by the relevant business teams.  Rather, after the inventor submitting the idea is

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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 aboutCorporations are punishing patent trolls by refusing to feed them work 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

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Patent Attorneys Can Create Value-Added Services for Their Clients by Assisting with Open Innovation Efforts

As someone who assists corporations and entrepreneurs in monetizing their patents, I am continuously on the lookout for potential technology buyers. To this end, I subscribe to a number of services that provide "wish-lists" of technology that others are seeking to acquire. The most notable of these are Innocentive.com and Yet2.com. Recently, I have seen a number of technologies on each of these websites that are possibly relevant to patents that I have obtained for clients over the last several years. While this could be a coincidence, I also think it could be a signal that more companies are dipping their toes into the Open Innovation space, as opposed to relying solely on internally developed products or technologies. Patent attorneys seeking to improve the value they provide to clients would be well-served regularly reviewing the listings on these databases and spreading the word to their firm

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Looking for Inside Info on the Automotive Bailout and Other Business Issues? It May Be Hiding in Plain Sight in US Patent Assignment Database

bailoutOne of the under-utilized aspects of available US patent data is the business information effectively "hiding in plain sight" in the U.S. Patent Office Assignment database. While it used to take weeks or months for assignments to be recorded, in recent years, the USPTO has implemented a very efficient electronic filing functionality that results in assignments being available for review almost immediately after being presented for recording. (This is arguably the most efficient process today in the USPTO.) Because most patent owners appear to avail themselves of electronic filing option when recording their assignments, one can find a wealth of information in the USPTO Assignment Branch. To this end, I recently uncovered an intriguing tidbit of information related to the Automobile Bailout when performing a wholly unrelated patent monetization marketability study for a client. In confirming that a patent was

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The IP Zone: A New Concept for Introducing Needed Information and Efficiencies into the Patent Monetization Market

Many corporations and entrepreneurs today understand that patents are increasingly bought, sold and traded, just like many other assets. However, the patent monetization market is only just emerging and, as a result, few information sources exist today to assist patent owners in selling their patents. The nascent nature of the industry also means that most patent owners do not themselves possess the necessary expertise to successfully monetize their patents. Put simply, today, patent monetization is "easier said than done." In view of the challenges currently faced by patent owners seeking to generate revenue by monetizing their patents, I was intrigued to learn about the "IP Zone" to be established later in 2009 in the Harlem area of New York City. The IP Zone will be physically located at 125st Street and Lenox Avenue in the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, which was established in the mid-1990's to provide enhanced job

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An Introduction to Patent Monetization Resources for Corporations and Entrepreneurs

For corporations and entrepreneurs seeking to monetize their un- or under-utilized patent rights for the first time, it can be difficult to know where to begin. The patent monetization market is not yet mature and, as with other emerging marketplaces, no established methodologies and few experts exist to guide patent owners through the process. Today, there are as many as 17 different business models used to monetize patent rights. More will likely spring up as the market continues to evolve, even while some of the current models will certainly fall away. With such a range of options, it is not surprising that those seeking to sell their patent rights may be confused about what path to take. This blog post is intended to provide an overview of ways that a corporate and individual patent owners can most effectively monetize their patent rights in today's market. The models discussed in this article

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Proposal for a Reality-Based Methodology for Measurement of Corporate Intangible Asset Value

In recent years, financial analysts came to believe that intangible asset value forms an increasing aspect of overall corporate value. These experts generally agreed that intangible asset value made up at least 70 % of the total market cap of the average corporation, an increase of an estimated 20 % in 1975. Not surprisingly, however, the recent global economic downturn has resulted in a steep decline in the amount of market cap attributed to intangible assets. Experts now say that the current (market adjusted) corporate value attributable to intangible assets is "less than 50 %." To someone who has toiled in the trenches of intangible asset protection at both the law firm and corporate levels, the at least 70 % generalization always possessed a sense of being pulled out of the air, as does the new

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Patent Monetization Can be a New Source of Revenue for Your Company: Make Sure You Know the Critical Steps for Success

As corporate revenues continue decreasing as a result of consumer and corporation belt-tightening, many businesses now seek to extract revenue from previously untapped areas. One such source experiencing increasing interest is patent monetization, whereby a business licenses or sells its unused or under-utilized patent assets to generate a new revenue stream. At the surface, patent monetization would effectively appear to be a "no brainer" for business. That is, if one owns an asset that holds little internal value, but to which a third party would ascribe considerable value, why wouldn't a company move forward with selling that asset? In truth, however, few organizations possess the knowledge base required to succesfully execute on a patent monetization plan. This failure results not because patent monetization requires a complex set of skills; rather, the difficulty typically lies with the organization's lack of familiarity with the process of patent monetization. A successful patent monetization process

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The First Step to Generating Revenue from "Patent Monetization" is Understanding What the Term Means

Smart corporate leaders continually seek new methods to capture firm asset value and improve cash flow. And, with estimates of more than 70 % of corporate value being in the form of intangible assets, it is not surprising that many organization are searching for ways to generate revenue from this all-to-often untapped asset class. IP monetization has therefore become an increasing focus of corporate managers and even seems to be an emerging "business model du jour" for innovative corporate managers. Moreover, since patents comprise the most "tangible" form of intangible assets at most companies, many corporate leaders view patent monetization as "low hanging fruit" in the search for additional methods to generate cash income. Indisputably, there is much money to be made from patent monetization. However, in counseling business professionals as an IP Business Strategist (more info here: The Hutter Group), I frequently find that many otherwise sophisticated high-level