Xiaomi is still on the lookout for big-time patent buys, even after its headline Intel and Microsoft deals

Patent prices are down, and patent enforcement is an affair that seems to grow more complicated with each passing week (with respect to the United States, at least). Many in the business are now looking to China to pick up the slack in the patent marketplace.

Xiaomi is perhaps the one Chinese company that has made the most headlines over the past couple of years regarding its patent-buying activities.

Toshiba is turning to patent sales – and, it would seem, NPEs – to create value amid financial troubles

Japanese corporates have historically eschewed patent monetisation; a deep-seated ‘not invented here’ syndrome and a fear of feeding ‘trolls’, combining to negate most motivations for selling IP assets.

But attitudes change – particularly when the economic going is tougher than ever.

AST to repeat IP3 patent-buying programme, with longer timeframe and focus on specific technologies

Defensive patent aggregator Allied Security Trust (AST) is relaunching its Industry Patent Purchase Promotion (IP3) after the success of the scheme’s inaugural run last year. For 2017, however, the programme will be managed slightly differently in order to better cater to AST’s members and enhance opportunities for prospective vendors to get involved.

Another major buyer pulls back from patent market as WiLAN plots new business direction

WiLAN announced last week that it will shift from being a patent pure play to become a diversified holding company, enabling it to invest in businesses beyond IP monetisation. While the Canadian NPE is not exiting the scene altogether, its move represents another blow for the secondary market after Intellectual Ventures (IV) confirmed the cessation of its patent buying activities earlier this month.

Top buyer Intellectual Ventures announces cessation of patent purchasing activities, leaving the secondary market in limbo

Intellectual Ventures (IV) has confirmed to IAM Magazine that it is winding down acquisitions for its most recently established patent aggregation fund. The impending exit of the patent market’s top buyer could have a significant impact on pricing and deal flow in the wider marketplace.

In 2016, patent prices hit a low ebb – but IAM Market had a positive impact on the transactions landscape

The secondary market in patents hit its lowest value in years over the course of 2016, though it remained robust with operating companies emerging as the keenest buyers, according to research from California-based IP strategy and law firm ROL Group.