Intellectual Ventures

Richardson and Oliver as World Leading IP Strategists – 10 Years at the Top

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For ten years, IAM Magazine has selected the top 300 IP strategists in the world. Kent Richardson and Erik Oliver are honored to be included for their tenth and ninth years respectively. From Joff Wild, editor of IAM Magazine, “IAM Strategy 300 has identified individuals who offer top-tier services relating to the development and implementation of strategies which enable IP owners to maximise the value of their portfolios.” Richardson and Oliver are dedicated to bringing greater transparency to the industry through publications and presentations on topics like HEVC licensing, Intellectual Ventures’ holdings, and the secondary patent market. Furthering access to patent market data, Kent Richardson said “With the launch of Richardson Oliver Insights (roipatents.com), we bring our groundbreaking patent market reports and analysis to a broader audience and enable more people to buy, sell, and value patents.”

Read more about the IAM 300 here.

Negotiating with Intellectual Ventures (IV)? What about their other funds?

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So, what happens when you are negotiating patent peace with Intellectual Ventures (IV) and they cannot guarantee peace? We have a new article up discussing how to handle the licensing of Intellectual Venture’s (IV’s) smaller in-house funds (ISF & IDF) during a negotiation with IV: read it on IPWatchdog.

You can find a broader analysis of IV’s portfolio in Issue 77 of IAM Magazine, How Intellectual Ventures is Streamlining Its Portfolio.

“How Intellectual Ventures Is Streamlining Its Portfolio.” Richardson et. al. IAM Magazine (May 2016)

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We followed up on our 2013 paper investigating Intellectual Venture’s patent portfolio to understand what, why and when IV bought, sold and litigated patents. By comparing Intellectual Venture’s 2013 assets with its 2016 assets, it is possible to draw conclusions about what you can do to help yourself should IV come knocking.

“How Intellectual Ventures Is Streamlining Its Portfolio.” Richardson et. al. IAM Magazine (May 2016), available 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

Intellectual Ventures is Buying Again

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IV’s new fund bought 16% of all the packages sold in the first half of 2014. As a follow up to our article “What’s Inside IV’s Patent Portfolio?” we examined Intellectual Venture’s recent buying practices, and in particular, buying for their new fund. We found 14 recorded assignments to III Holdings 1, LLC; this is IV’s new Intellectual Investment Fund 3 (IIF3). Although there has been speculation in the broader community about whether IIF3 is funded, we believe that these assignments are public evidence of funds committed from IIF3.

At the ROL Group we perform quarterly analysis on patent packages offered for sale on the open market. We saw a significant number of packages purchased by III Holdings 1, LLC. RPX has identified this III Holdings 1, LLC as an NPE entity. III Holdings 1, LLC could not be found as a litigant in any patent litigation. However, we have confirmed that this is a holding company for Intellectual Ventures’ IIF3 buying.

Using assignment data from the USPTO website to identify sales, our Q1 review identified 35 package sales and our Q2 review identified 50 package sales.  Of these, III Holdings 1, LLC was the assignee on 5 (15%) of the sales identified in Q1 and 9 (18%) of the sales identified in Q2. The details of the packages are as follows:

As for the money IV spent on these assets, an approximation can be made by scaling down the expected sale price to 65% of the asking price, as described in “The Brokered Patent Market”. Using this method, $4.39M of IV spend was identified in the Q1 review and $8.06M in the Q2 review for a total spent of $12.45M. Not anywhere as high as past years, but IV is buying in IIF3.

Using the actual assignment dates, the following histogram represents IV’s estimated spend per month on open market patent deals in IFF3 since the first confirmed assignment.

Importantly, IV is successful at buying at the low end of the market so the estimated total spend may be high. The flip side, is that private purchases are not reflected above, if private purchases were included IIF3 spending would be higher.

“What’s Inside IV’s Patent Portfolio.” Richardson et. al. IAM Magazine (July 2014)

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IAM Magazine
In December 2013 Intellectual Ventures (IV) took a step towards transparency by publicly listing about 33,000 of its patent assets, representing 82% of its patent monetization portfolio. Analyzing IV’s portfolio has now become a tractable problem. Here are some of the questions we answered: what does IV buy, what characteristics does IV look for in a patent, what does IV do after the purchases, and who did IV buy from.

“What’s Inside IV’s Patent Portfolio?” Richardson et. al. IAM Magazine (July 2014), available here.

What’s Inside IV’s Patent Portfolio?

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Citation: Kent Richardson and Erik Oliver.”What’s inside IV’s patent portfolio?” IAM Magazine, Issue 66, July/August 2014

In December 2013 Intellectual Ventures (IV) took a step towards transparency by publicly listing about 33,000 of its patent assets, representing 82% of its patent monetization portfolio (http://patents.intven.com/finder). Analyzing IV’s portfolio has now become a tractable problem. Kent Richardson and Erik Oliver penned an article for IAM Magazine that examines what is in the portfolio, what IV buys and what IV did after the purchases.

This article is published in IAM Magazine, Issue 66 July/August 2014. We thought you would like to see some of the analysis.

The above graph illustrates when assets in IV’s portfolio were litigated relative to their assignment to IV.  IV purchases many assets that have already been litigated, but also litigates a similar amount after purchase.  It is also clear that most of IV’s litigation is in it’s name, with only a fraction being asserted in the name of a holding company.

This graph shows the concentration of sources for IV’s purchases. Though the majority of deals are with small or individual entities; this misses an important insight. Due to the size of a few large deals, most of IV’s assets are from very few companies. 22 companies sold IV more than 100 assets and the assets from these companies’ accounts for 37% of IV’s portfolio.  Approximately 60% of IV’s assets come from only 100 companies. The conclusion? An active cross licensing, or licenses that spring when a transfer to an NPE occurs, could have greatly reduced NPE risk.

Here is the list of those top 100 sellers of patent assets to IV.

Additionally, Richardson Oliver Law Group is offering the data set supplemented with our proprietary data. Clients of Richardson Oliver Law Group can obtain this data at no charge by contacting ROL Group.

An example of the data available in ROL Group's analysis, available for purchase.

An example of the data available in ROL Group’s analysis, available for purchase.

IV Portfolio Analysis


IV published their portfolio of approximately 33,000 assets at the end of 2013.  We then compiled and analyzed further information on the US assets in their portfolio in order to get a better picture of the portfolio as a whole.  This data includes assignment records for the transfer to IV ownership, from whom the asset was assigned, the age of assets in their portfolio at the time of transfer, priority dates of assets, if an asset has been litigated, and the technical areas most of each asset.

This data can be used to evaluate the risk IV poses to a particular field or company based on the percentage of their portfolio in that field, the litigation history, and the expected expiration of assets in that field.  This information will guide business decisions on building a defensive portfolio, making cross-licensing agreements, and inform negotiations of licenses with IV.

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