IAM has just published the findings of its 2017 benchmarking survey. According to the results, the patent market remains at a low ebb – but IP professionals are beginning to see the emergence of green shoots.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Uber has announced that it is establishing a patent buying programme modelled on similar initiatives recently launched by Google and a consortium led by defensive aggregator Allied Security Trust (AST).
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.
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.