A conversation about patent valuation and the market

Recently I had the opportunity to interview Efrat Kasznik (pictured left), who is President of Foresight Valuation Group. Kasznik specializes in performing valuations of intangible assets for financial reporting, tax compliance, transfer pricing, litigation damages and business liquidations. She is also starting to work with start-up companies at earlier stages in order to help them develop a strong IP portfolio and to prevent them from making mistakes that later cannot be fixed.

What follows are the highlights of my long form interview, which took place on Tuesday, December 23, 2014, and was published on IPWatchdog.com on January 7, 2015.

I spent some time discussing whether investors should seek patent protection or whether they should freely share their ideas, which is what some VCs actually recommend.

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01.26.15 | Patent Issues | Gene Quinn

Key Republicans on Patent Reform in 114th Congress

Over the last several days on IPWatchdog.com, we have published articles introducing the Republicans serving on the House IP Subcommittee and the Republicans serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee. In the coming days, we will publish similar profiles of the Democrats.

Today, we focus on four key players on the Republican side of the aisle that will influence any patent reform efforts – Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Each of the aforementioned Members of Congress are on record supporting patent reform of some kind during the 114th Congress.

Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

The primary subcommittee dealing with intellectual property matters in the House of Representatives is the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, which is a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. This means that Congressman Bob Goodlatte will have an extremely important role with respect to shepherding any intellectual property legislation through Congress over the next two years. Goodlatte has signaled that he will focus his own energies on copyright reform, deciding to keep any copyright reforms the purview of the entire Judiciary Committee. Still, Goodlatte has shown keen interest in the patent system over the years, including the most recently failed patent reform legislation during the 113th Congress. You can rest assured he will be heavily engaged in the 114th Congress.

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01.14.15 | Patent Issues, Patent Reform | Gene Quinn

Intel Patents Mobile Augmented-Reality Programs and Ultrathin Smartphones

Intel has a large patent portfolio which has only been getting stronger in recent years. In 2013, the company was the recipient of 1,730 patents from the USPTO, a 34.4 % increase in U.S. patents issued to them over 2012. Worldwide, the corporation ranked 16th among all entities filing for U.S. patent grants. In recent months, the company has made acquisitions to expand its holdings in telecommunications infrastructure, evidenced by their September purchase of more than 1,400 patents and patent applications in that sector developed by Powerwave Technologies, which had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In a recent review of Intel patents, we saw a wave of augmented and virtual-reality technologies.  Augmented-reality programs implemented on mobile platforms are the focus of U.S. Patent No. 8913085, which is titled Object Mapping Techniques for Mobile Augmented Reality Applications. The patent claims a method of identifying an object in one or more images, accessing a stored profile database to select a profile for the object once identified; the profile contains information on whether an object should be altered or interacted with and processing an alteration for a display. The technology is intended to improve the use of mobile augmented-reality (MAR) programs which implement a plurality of devices for multiplayer game play, for instance.

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01.9.15 | posts | Gene Quinn

J&J Eye Care Patents Abound

The patenting activities of Johnson & Johnson are definitely robust. During 2013 (the latest year for which we have patent statistics available), J&J was 29th globally in terms of patent grants received from the USPTO with 1,107 U.S. patents, an increase of more than 10 percent over the company’s 2012 totals.

Once again, contact lenses and other types of ophthalmic lenses took center stage in terms of patents issued to Johnson & Johnson in recent months. A contact lens with the ability to make more than one focal power available to a wearer is disclosed and protected by U.S. Patent No. 8906088, which is titled Variable Focus Ophthalmic Device Including Liquid Crystal Elements (pictured left). The patent protects an energized ophthalmic lens device with a variable optic insert which is in a portion of an optical zone and comprises a layer of liquid crystal material; the lens also includes a dielectric material layer which is disposed proximate to the optic insert. The dielectric and liquid crystal layers of this invention provide a contact lens which has the ability to adopt variable focal characteristics.

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01.7.15 | Patent Issues | Gene Quinn

LG Receives Patents on Robotic Cleaners, Refrigerators and Smartwatches

LG Electronics may not have the largest share of consumer electronics markets, even in its home country South Korea, but the corporation has lately been a patenting juggernaut. LG was awarded the 5th most U.S. patent grants during 2013 and was one of only five companies to eclipse 3,000 patents awarded in that year; LG still played second fiddle to Samsung, which was 2nd place last year with 4,652 patents. LG actually maintains a thorough list of its patent portfolio, sorted so that a reader can easily find which LG products are using which patented technology, on its website. The corporation recently invested $4 million to form Unified Innovative Technology of Delaware, OH, which some have speculated is a move intended to protect LG’s international intellectual property interests. In early November, the company also announced a 10-year agreement with Google for global cross-licensing of patents, similar to a deal signed by Google with Samsung earlier this year.

Korean tech companies love robots. Our recent coverage of Samsung featured a bevy of robotics technologies, so we were piqued when we noticed a patent issued to its neighbor in the same field. U.S. Patent No. 8903590, which is titled Robot Cleaner and Method for Controlling the Same, protects a robot cleaner with a travel unit that responds to a travel mode command, a detection unit for detecting items to be cleaned and a control unit that generates a map for cleaning. This technology is designed to achieve a more efficient and accurate method of generating a map for cleaning within a robotic cleaner.

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12.23.14 | Patent Issues | Gene Quinn

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