IP Market Updates
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IP Market Updates
October 27, 2016

With the US presidential elections fast approaching (we can’t wait for them to be over!) and with what looks increasingly more like a Clinton administration, those who care about innovation and how the law protects inventors are wondering what the next four years will look like when it comes to IP policy. Is it the worst kept secret on the Hill that the Obama administration has been heavily influenced by the relentless lobbying efforts of Google and other large technology companies who have succeeded in painting a picture where patent owners are mostly bad (Exhibit A: trolls) and therefore patent rights must be curtailed in order to put a dent into abusive patent litigation that costs real innovative companies (i.e. themselves) millions in defending themselves against multiple meritless lawsuits. The net of those concerted effort is that the Obama administration has been very vocal in taking a pro-defendant stance, Congress has followed the same cues in a rare bipartisan display, and the anti-troll narrative has gradually permeated our courts all the way to the US Supreme Court. This, in turn, has created a watering down of patent owners’ rights, a cloud of uncertainty as to whether any patent can still be deemed valid -as the law states- and, not surprisingly, a significant devaluation of patents as an asset class.

While a few recent decisions from various courts may point to a slight shifting back of the pendulum, if you are an inventor most of the damage has already been done and it may take a while to go back to some state of equilibrium between protecting innovators and curbing unnecessary litigation.

Initial reports suggest that a Clinton administration would be a lot less beholden to the Silicon Valley lobby than the current one. As everyone should know by now, Clinton is more closely aligned with Wall Street (which is generally supportive of IP rights) and has a natural inclination to support job creation by small and medium size enterprises, the group that has been most severely impacted by the recent turmoil in the IP market. Clinton’s campaign manager (John Podesta) has already conducted several meetings with well-respected and influential individuals in the IP community, including two past USPTO directors who now advise him and who generally have a candid and balanced and more pragmatic view of the situation. This is encouraging, as the debate has so far been oversimplified by making everyone look like a patent troll, and then pass legislation or regulation that chip away at patent rights rather than trying to curb bad behavior. Let’s hope that new blood in DC will help press the reset button and reestablish some trust with innovators that it is still worth for them to think big and that the legal system will still be there to protect them when they succeed and contribute to the economy.

More recent news about the IP marketplace below.

Happy reading!


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 Once in a [Planet] Blue Moon—Software Patents as Alice Turns Two 
Bandai Namco Games America Inc. found claims for a software patent to be "not drawn to an abstract idea" and thus patent-eligible under Section 101 ... (more...)

 The Uncertain Future of Laches in Patent Litigation 
In patent infringement cases, laches has been used as a defense to claims for both legal and equitable relief where the plaintiff has delayed bringing ... (more...)

 Apple Patents: What Does It Do Prevent Trolls? 
FX News Call 
Marshall, Texas, the jurist has thrown out a case about Apple patents that had been presented to the court. Apple, which is on its way to winning the ... (more...)

 Follow the Patents: New Approaches to Energy Storage and Distribution 
Electric Light & Power 
If you saw the movie “All the President's Men,” you probably remember what Woodward and Bernstein's secret informer, “Deep Throat,” told them to do ... (more...)

 It's Time to Fix the Global Patent System Before It Breaks Under the Weight of New Applications 
Global fracture What's the biggest challenge for the patent system in many countries? It may not be what you think. While issues with litigation or ... (more...)

 Winning the Drug Development Debate 
pawn-king-punch The stage is being set for a coordinated attack on the patent system under the guise of making international health care more ... (more...)

 Proposals undermining innovators won't help India: US 
Deccan Chronicle 
She said India was very clear that it is not ready to engage with anyone on 'TRIPS plus' issues which could lead to "ever-greening of patents or ... (more...)

 The Inventors' Dilemma: Drafting your own patent application when you lack funds 
The first entrepreneurs' dilemma that inventors typically face is with respect to whether to hire a patent practitioner or to simply go it alone and prepare ... (more...)

 Canada's 'promise doctrine' has chilling R&D effect, says report 
Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review
The promise doctrine requires the demonstration or evidence of a patent's utility—if the utility falls short of fulfilling the “promise” contained in the ... (more...)

 Amazon Has Patented Tiny Personal Assistant Drones 
Amazon has been awarded a patent for tiny little drones that could help you with everyday tasks, like finding your keys or your car in a parking lot. (more...)

 Analyzing Patent Claims Having Conditional Language – the PTAB Provides Clarity 
The National Law Review 
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) recently designated Ex parte Schulhauser, Appeal 2013-007847 (PTAB April 28, 2016), as precedential. (more...)

 Panel: If the patent system is in peril, so is our economy 
The consensus was clear: a robust patent system has been the basis for the United States' past economic growth, and degradation of that system will ... (more...)

 Newly formed patent troll makes vast claim to Web video, sues 14 big media companies 
Ars Technica 
These days, it seems like software patents are falling down right and left. Hundreds of them have been invalidated by US federal judges since the ... (more...)

 Federal Circuit Clarifies Patent Eligibility Under McRO and Enfish 
In an October 11, 2016, decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court's finding that FairWarning's patent claims were invalid because the ... (more...)

 Inside Intellectual Ventures' Portfolio: Nearly 500 University Patents 
Harvard researcher Yarden Katz has just published some fascinating findings on which universities have sold patents to notorious patent-holding ... (more...)

 Samsung v. Apple: Consequences for Design Patent Owners 
The current dispute is not about specific numbers, such as which Samsung phones infringed the Apple design patents, or how many phones Samsung ... (more...)

 Computers should be named on patents as inventors for creativity to flourish 
New research published by the University of Surrey in Boston College Law Review is calling for inventions by computers to be legally granted patents. (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
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