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Kent Richardson

“You Need Defensive Patents but You Don’t Have Any. Now What? A Case Study.” Richardson et. al. IPWatchdog (August 2017)

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“You Need Defensive Patents but You Don’t Have Any. Now What? A Case Study.” Richardson et. al. IPWatchdog (August 2017)

The setting is familiar: a large corporate asserter uses its patents against a smaller, high-growth company with no patents. Companies like Qualcomm, IBM, Nokia, and Microsoft regularly assert their patents. This case study describes how one of our clients included patent buying into their patent strategy to successfully defended against a corporate assertion by acquiring patents in the open market.

Also, available in our case studies here.

Bloomberg BNA Publishes ROL Group Second Quarter Patent Market Data

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Bloomberg/BNA has published its second quarter analysis of the ROL Group patent market data. Our data continues to be a valuable resource for those seeking to buy or sell patents. Our latest annual report can be downloaded here.

“… Possibly the largest asset transfer during the quarter involved two packages containing 261 U.S.-issued patents sold by Wilk Patent Development Corp. and its president, Peter J. Wilk, to CHF Technologies Inc., which does business as BioVentrix Inc., a cardiovascular device firm.

Wilk previously sought to sell about 25 cardiovascular patent assets on the brokered market through ICAP Patent Brokerage, according to a September 2015 press release. The patents “pertain to heart and vascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, coronary artery bypass procedures” and numerous other cardiovascular procedures, according to the release.

Because of the PTO recording lag, it’s not clear how many of the Wilk patents BioVentrix actually purchased.

Twitter also purchased patent assets from the defensive patent aggregation firm Allied Security Trust during the quarter. The package included 14 patent assets, including 7 U.S.-issued patents.”

Richardson and Oliver Named in List of World’s Leading IP Strategists

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ROL Group partners Kent Richardson and Erik Oliver have again been named in the IAM Strategy 300 – The World’s Leading IP Strategists.

“The IAM Strategy 300 is an annual list compiled by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Magazine that identifies individuals with an established track record in developing and rolling out world-class IP value creation programmes. To qualify for a listing in the IAM Strategy 300, a person must be nominated by others from outside of his or her own organization and have what IAM calls “exceptional skill sets, as well as profound insights into the development, creation, and management of IP value.”

This is the eighth year that Richardson has been named to the list and the seventh year that Oliver has been named to the list.

Bloomberg/BNA Publishes First Quarterly Brokered Patent Market Data Report

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Bloomberg/BNA has begun publishing the ROL Group data on the brokered patent market. This information brings much needed transparency to the market for buying and selling patents and we are glad to be able to help.

“Companies such as Panasonic Corp., Intel Corp., Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Korea Telecom used the brokered patent market to adjust their patent portfolios in the first quarter of the year, according to data provided to Bloomberg BNA by Richardson Oliver Law Group LLP.

The brokered market comprises just a small portion of the overall market for patent sales between companies, but it can offer insights into broader trends.The number of assets available in the market received a boost in the first quarter. Patent brokers listed over 6,000 new assets, double the nearly 3,000 listed in the previous quarter.However, those assets were offered as a smaller number of larger packages of patents. The number of packages listed dropped to 164 from 272….”

Yahoo’s Patent Portfolio – What Is the Market Price Today?

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Business Insider reports that Yahoo’s patent portfolio could generate up to $3B. We disagree and we use data to show why. With an estimated street price of $772M (high of $1.15B, a low of $393M), Yahoo has a valuable asset, just not a $3B asset.

We often see patent prices stated without any data to back up the analysis. We think this needs to change. Below, we show how a quick analysis of Yahoo’s portfolio and the patent market leads to some bounds on the street price of the patents.

 

See our case study here.

How Intellectual Ventures Is Streamlining Its Portfolio

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Our latest paper on Intellectual Ventures has been published in IAM Magazine (Issue #77). We look at how IV’s strategy has shifted, how to reduce your risk of exposure to their portfolio, and what the future might hold for them. Our paper is available for download here.

“The cover story this time around focuses on Intellectual Ventures. For many years, the firm kept its cards close to its chest – rarely speaking to the press, even more rarely discussing its business model and never, ever revealing the identities of its investors – but these days it is probably one of the most transparent operators out there.

For example, it is now possible to take a close look at the vast majority of its patents and, as a result, to work out the kinds of strategies it might pursue to monetise them. That is exactly the task the article’s authors set themselves. What Erik Oliver, Kent Richardson and Michael Costa found is an organisation in the process of recalibrating its portfolio to make it smaller and more sharply focused on top quality. That will have significant consequences for the companies the firm approaches for licensing deals, the trio says.” Joff Wild, IAM Blog, April 4, 2016

To Our Clients, Team and Families, Thank You! ROL Group Celebrating 7 Successful Years

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Erik and I wanted to thank our clients, team, friends and families for all the support over the last seven years. Thank you for helping the ROL Group to achieve important milestones:

  • Helped our clients by and sell more than $65M in patent assets. We have sourced, filtered, diligenced, built financial models for, and closed deals for thousands of patents.
  • Created the first data-driven report on the brokered patent market. We reported on who was selling patents, who was buying patents, what the prices were and how to improve your strategies. Now, we publish an annual report cited by others in the industry and academics.
  • Built a database and operations to track and analyze patent deals in excess of $7B across more than 60,000 patents and 2,200 patent deals.
  • Designed first of their kind tools for world-class technology companies to help them value, analyze, and process patent deals.
  • Successfully negotiated away more than $500M in patent assertion liability.
  • Helped governmental and quasi-governmental agencies implement new programs including their data protection policy, privacy policy, and IT licenses.
  • Helped our clients find solutions to challenges in litigation, trademarks, licensing, patent monetization, and patent valuation.
  • Developed an interesting and fun place to work.

We look forward to the next seven years and beyond. Thank you again!

Q3 Patent Sales Decline More Than Expected

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Q3 Sales Rate Declines

Our Q3 sales analysis shows a slowing in patent purchases. The first half sales were 139% of 2014 sales, suggesting a big year for sales. Q3 shows a slowdown matching Q3 2014. We have seen Q3 slowdowns before, but this slowdown misses the first half 2015 sales boost.  In Q3, we saw 24 sales compared with 25 sales for the same period last year. Q4 will tell us whether the first half of 2015 was an anomaly.

At the ROL Group, we track the available and sold patent packages on the brokered patent market. Our proprietary database includes over 2,200 patent packages representing more than 60,000 patent assets and more than $7B in potential patent sales. We analyze the USPTO assignment database each quarter to identify sales of unsold packages from the past few years. 


Q3 2015 Quarterly Patent Market Report – ROL Group

Patent Sellers

Patent sellers continue to be primarily high technology companies and NPEs. The data does not show a strong corporate sellers preference to not sell to NPEs.

In Q3, sellers had greater success with portfolios having multiple assets. Although a couple larger transactions skewed the average to 33 assets per sold portfolio, there were few smaller packages; 25% of the packages had less than 5 assets. Anecdotally we have had brokers tell us that selling smaller packages is getting too difficult and that they continually seek larger patent packages to broker.

Sellers came from NPEs and corporates. With the split of HP, these may be the last sales we see as a unified company – it will be interesting to see how each new HP business pursues its own patent buying and selling path.

Q3 2015 Patent Sellers – ROL Group

Patent Buyers

Patent purchases split between corporations, defensive aggregators, and NPEs with Intellectual Ventures picking up the largest number of assets and at the top of the deal count list. Intel, Google and Sony all picked up patents this quarter. Absent from the list is Apple who appears not to be a significant buyer in the brokered patent market.

Q3 2015 Patent Buyers - ROL Group

Q3 2015 Patent Buyers – ROL Group

2015 Brokered Patent Market

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Our analysis of the patent market is now available in the January/February (issue #75) of IAM Magazine. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Asking prices are down ~$50K, but not by as much as you would have thought.
  • The Alice decision has killed the sales rates (the percentage of packages sold) for business processes patents but has had much less of an effect on software patents.
  • Patents with EOUs (light claim charts) have higher asking prices (+$50K) and selling rates.
  • We sized the market at about $230M in closed patent transactions.

Additionally, we show the total asking price of deals we track has grown over time to almost $7B. The graph below includes both brokered and private deals in our database of over 2200 patent packages with over 64,000 patent assets.

Download the paper here.

Richardson and Oliver Named in IAM’s World’s Leading IP Strategists

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ROL Group partners Kent Richardson and Erik Oliver have again been named in the IAM Strategy 300 – The World’s Leading IP Strategists.

The IAM Strategy 300 is an annual list compiled by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Magazine that identifies the industry leaders in developing and implementing strategies that maximize IP portfolio value. To qualify for a listing in the IAM Strategy 300, a person must be nominated by others from outside of his or her own organization and have what IAM calls “exceptional skill sets, as well as profound insights into the development, creation, and management of IP value.”

This is the seventh year that Richardson has been named to the list, and the sixth year that Oliver has been named to the list.