US patent litigation at its lowest ebb in years – but the secondary market still has plenty of pull

Patent risk management firms RPX and Unified Patents have each started the new year by releasing preliminary numbers on US patent lawsuits filed in 2016. With figures dramatically down year on year – as many market observers would no doubt have expected – it may seem obvious to conclude that patent transaction deal flow will also drop-off over the next 12 months. But there may be reason to believe that demand for third-party patent assets could be boosted as would-be plaintiffs seek out new targets.

Recent developments in the United States and China show positive signs for software patent values

The value of patents covering computer programs and related technologies has arguably been the hardest hit by recent legislative reforms, new jurisprudence and anti-IP sentiment. But those looking to buy, sell and license software patents have no reason to give up hope just yet.

Qualcomm’s electric vehicle licensing deal shows the value of including know-how in patent transactions

In a transaction characteristic of today’s patent marketplace, Qualcomm announced this week that it has licensed its wireless charging technology for electric vehicles to automotive parts manufacturer Lear Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement, Lear will include Qualcomm’s Halo wireless charging technology among its product offerings for clients including automotive manufacturers and vehicle-charging infrastructure companies.

Universal Display’s €87 million BASF purchase underlines continued interest in big-money patent deals

US company Universal Display Corporation (UDC) has acquired a patent portfolio relating to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology from Germany’s BASF for €87 million (approximately US$96 million). The deal shows that even in today’s tough climate, there is still appetite for high-value patent purchases if the right conditions exist.

With supply up and prices down, now is a great time to buy US patents

One of the most frustrating things about the patent marketplace is its scarcity of information on price points. When a deal is publicly announced or reported in the press, it often lacks detail on just how much money has exchanged hands. Transacting parties have various reasons for withholding such information; and even if it were regularly made available, it is arguable what impact, if any, it would have on the pricing of patents more generally.