IP Market Updates
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IP Market Updates
October 9, 2016

Hi all,

There were several interesting developments in the past week in the US on the IP side. I’ll highlight a few:

  1. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its much awaited report on Non Practicing Entity (NPE) initiated patent litigation. The FTC’s mission is the promotion of consumer protection and the elimination and prevention of anticompetitive business practices. It initiated an investigation a year ago as the request of several large industry players who feel they are on the receiving end of too much “abusive” patent litigation in the US. The anti-troll lobby (aka the “efficient infringers”) who were expecting a scathing report supporting their narrative were in for some disappointment, as the FCT final document was fairly balanced and overall concluded that no major changes were required in the current system to curb “nuisance” patent litigation. The FTC made a few practical recommendations, some that have already been implemented (e.g. more detailed pleadings) or come straight from some of the current proposed patent “improvement” bills currently stuck on the hill.
  2. The US Supreme Court refused in one single day to hear about 10 cases that had all in common that it would have given the Court the opportunity to clarify its own Alice ruling which has since become a runway train and has resulted in a large majority of patents being invalidated on the premise that they simply represent an “abstract idea”. In short, the highest court is telling the lower divisions that they have created that mess and they need to clean it themselves.
  3. In a parallel development, the Federal Circuit Division which hears all the appeals in the US coming from both district courts and the PTAB (and whose own appeals are sent to the Supreme Court) stated that its role was not to review any factual matter in IP cases, something that seems self-evident but that it had steered away from in the past years. As a result, we might see fewer district court decisions being overturned in the future.
  4. Last but not least, the same Federal Circuit division revived the $120M patent award that Apple had initially received against Samsung. It will be interesting to see whether this restarts the mobile patent war that was escalated a few years ago with a $1 billion award in favor of Apple against Samsung in a related case. That old feud might also become some kind of ménage à trois with the recent launch by Google of its own smartphone: the Pixel. Google is itself still sitting on a vast chest of relevant patents that it either kept or licensed to itself when it resold the Motorola Mobility Division to Lenovo.

For more related and interesting news in the IP marketplace, see below.
Happy reading!



 Court reinstates $120M patent award for Apple in Samsung case 
A U.S. appeals court has reinstated a $119.6 million award for Apple in its long-running smartphone design patent dispute with rival Samsung. (more...)

 A judge wants to make patent trolling a first amendment issue 
The Verge 
When the Supreme Court decided Alice v. CLS Bank in 2014, it marked a new era in software patent law. By ruling that abstract ideas could not be ... (more...)

 FTC releases report on PAE Activity, recognizes important role of enforcing patents 
The study was intended to shed more light on the PAE business model and create a better understanding of how their patent litigation activities affect ... (more...)

 Patent Infringement: How A Freedom To Operate Review Can Help Mitigate The Risk Of ... 
JD Supra 
Damages that may be awarded to a patent owner who can prove that a party infringes a patent can be significant. These damages can include ... (more...)

 Nathan Myhrvold: Why Intellectual Ventures still believes in the power of patents 
But it is his thoughts on patents that have polarized the tech world. Intellectual Ventures has acquired more than 70,000 patents over its lifetime, and ... (more...)

 Design Patent Protection Still on the Rise for Fashion Brands 
The Fashion Law 
In the past year or so, Yves Saint Laurent has been issued 27 design patents. Louis Vuitton has been issued 16, and Balenciaga 10. Since Raf ... (more...)

 What Brexit Means For Medtech Patents 
Seeking Alpha 
“Regardless of Brexit we've got major changes coming to the patent landscape in Europe, and these are particularly interesting for tech and medtech ... (more...)

 Federal Circuit Strengthens Software, Business Method Patents 
The Legal Intelligencer 
The U.S. Supreme Court's 2014 decision in Alice v. CLS Bank, No. 13–298, shifted the tide against patents claiming software and business methods ... (more...)

 IPR Evidence and Trial Impact for Practitioners 
Scales of Justice Although initially pegged as sounding the death knell for the majority of challenged patent claims, over the past couple of years, the (more...)

 Here's Why Software Patents Are in Peril After the Intellectual Ventures Ruling 
The end may in sight for software patents—which have long been highly controversial in the tech industry—in the wake of a remarkable appeals court ... (more...)
Louis Carbonneau, Founder & CEO
IAM World's Leading IP Strategists since 2012

Tangible IP is a strategic IP advisory firm and the global leader in the sale and acquisition of high-quality patents, with a proven track record of over 2000 patents successfully brokered. If you are looking for strategic IP advice or have patents that could be monetized to raise capital or reinvest into your R&D, please contact us at
Louis will be speaking at the IP Dealmakers Forum on November 17-18, 2016 in New York, discussing The Big Picture: IP Market Deals, Trends, Policy, and More. Tangible IP is also a sponsor for the event.  

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