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Patents To Face New Frontiers And Increased Federal Regulations

Intellectual Property Exchange International

The world’s first online exchange for patent rights is now online. Intellectual Property Exchange International (IPXI) allows owners of intellectual property rights to offer licensing through the exchange. The hope is to create greater price transparency and efficiency by opening up what has heretofore been limited to purely private negotiations and transactions.

The exchange allows trades of unit license rights, contracts that allow for licensing and use of the technology. The Exchange performs due diligence on the intellectual property rights, offering purchasers greater security. Combined with the exchange’s system of price discovery and lower costs associated with the transaction, IPXI will hopefully allow more companies to access the technology they need while allowing inventors and intellectual property owners to more effectively monetize their product.

IPXI’s members currently include Ford Global Technologies, LLC, Hewlett-Packard Company, JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA, Panasonic Intellectual Property Corporation of America, Sony Corporation of America, University of Chicago, Columbia Technology Ventures, Rutgers University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and DLA Piper, just to name a few. To learn more about the exchange, see IPXI.

US Government Cracking Down on Patent Trolls

This development comes in the same week that the Obama administration calls for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to crack down on “patent trolls,” shell companies that sue numerous parties for trumped up software or electronic process patents. According to The New York Times, nearly half of all patent lawsuits are now filed by these shell companies. Edward Wyatt of the Times wrote, ” Mr. Obama ordered the Patent and Trademark Office to require companies to be more specific about exactly what their patent covers and how it is being infringed. The administration also told the patent office to tighten scrutiny of overly broad patent claims and said it would aim to curb patent-infringement lawsuits against consumers and small-business owners who are simply using off-the-shelf technology.”   

The America Invents Act has already made it more difficult for small entrepreneurs and start-ups to protect their intellectual property by instituting a first-to-file, race-to-the-courthouse system and increasing the number of required filings. Increased regulation by the USPTO could further complicate an already convoluted patent process. That being said, protecting small business from frivolous strike suits could improve the small business experience.

Allen & Gooch is providing this legal update for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. You should consult your own attorney concerning your particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have.