As domestic business strategies expand to include foreign markets, so too must the patent portfolios designed to protect them. In their fourth annual report of global intellectual property trends, researchers from inovia learned that 50 percent of American firms and universities filed the majority of their patent applications overseas in 2012. That figure represents an approximate 20 percent annual increase.
Just two years after its October 2008 launch, daily deal website Groupon had amassed approximately 35 million registered users across 250 global markets. Business growth plateaued and ultimately receded over the next two years, however, prompting the firing of founder and CEO Andrew Mason this past February. But prior to his departure, Mason was able to make some telling investments in the company's patent portfolio.
Microsoft has continued its run of convincing Google's mobile hardware partners to agree to mutually beneficial patent licensing terms in its latest deal with ZTE. With more than 20 Android manufacturers now signing deals with Microsoft, some are wondering if the remaining few will be able to hold out much longer.
Grooveshark is one of many online music streaming services that enables users to upload and share song files. However, an infringement case filed against the company by UMG Recordings recently unveiled an important discrepancy between state and federal copyright law that could spell trouble for digital business models.
Pharmaceutical and biomedical firms are among the closest observers of international intellectual property management regulations, and recent research suggests that they believe European Union patent reforms will ultimately be more favorable to the life sciences sector than those passed within the America Invents Act.
As traditional satellite and cable TV providers match upstarts like Aereo in extending the viewer experience in new directions, broadcast networks are increasingly concerned how their royalty management agreements will be impacted by emerging content distribution models. Most recently, Dish Network has drawn the ire of FOX Broadcasting with innovative features that allow subscribers to watch live and recorded TV programming via smartphone or tablet.
The implementation of the America Invents Act beginning in September 2011 was intended to signal a new era of patent prosecution efficiency, and while it is too early to make definitive conclusions, it would seem as though the legislation has actually been counterproductive in reducing litigation rates.
Microsoft signed a potentially pivotal patent licensing deal this week with Chinese manufacturing giant Hon Hai, parent company to Foxconn. Although the terms of the agreement will remain confidential, the move should help Microsoft bolster its already impressive royalty revenues as it looks to find its footing in the mobile marketplace.
Internet hosting giant Rackspace has elected to do a bit of public service on behalf of its technology sector brethren, according to GigaOM, by standing up to an entity that has plagued mobile application developers with a series of nearly identical patent infringement claims. Rackspace plans to pursue the new inter partes review option made available via the America Invents Act to challenge the fundamental validity of the patents in question.
The Information Age has brought many valuable intellectual property management resources into the public domain, but recent research suggests that there is still no substitute for qualified legal counsel when inventors look to mint their first registered trademark.
Apple has once again pursued a strategy that would seem to counter the wisdom of its late co-founder Steve Jobs by agreeing to pay more than $10 million for intellectual assets he previously deemed inconsequential. Although the move comes as a surprise to some, others believe Apple's latest patent licensing deal may be a defensive maneuver against Microsoft.
When high-tech patent portfolios appear in the news, it is often as the product of an ongoing legal battle between competing firms. Yet according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), fewer than 2 percent of all tech-centric IP agreements lead to such formal dispute proceedings. What's more, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods that keep the two sides out of the courtroom often yield outcomes that are less expensive and more productive than those derived from traditional litigation.
University of Richmond researchers recently sparked vigorous debate within the patent community with a comprehensive analysis of the USPTO's application approval history over the past 17 years. While some have attributed the rising allowance rate seen under the Kappos administration to improved administrative efficiency, others are concerned that it may connote a drop in quality control standards.
Launched in late 2011, ReDigi is an online marketplace where customers can upload and share digital music. What set the company apart from standard online file sharing platforms, however, was its ability to verify that sellers had originally acquired the content through legitimate means prior to putting it up for auction. Unfortunately, this unique approach has not satisfied music industry opponents who insist that the business model should not be covered by the first-sale doctrine and thus constitutes pervasive copyright infringement.
Since its commercial debut in early 2012, New York City startup Aereo has been drawing the ire of big name broadcasters by enabling subscribers to watch and record live television programming via internet-enabled devices. The young company scored an important legal victory this week as the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the assertion that Aereo's services infringe upon broadcaster copyrights.
Mobile technology and patent management intersected many times in 2012 as names like Apple, Google, Research In Motion, Samsung and Motorola all had the legitimacy of their portfolios called into question at various times throughout the year. Although it remains to be seen what innovations and conversations lie ahead for the industry, it seems as though companies on all sides have taken the importance of diligent asset management to heart in planning their 2013 strategies.
Swiss pharmaceuticals manufacturer Novartis was denied patent protection for a promising cancer treatment, Glivec, after India's Supreme Court ruled that the latest generation of the medicine failed to meet the nation's comparatively high threshold for novelty. As a result, both biomedical corporations and affordable healthcare advocates are weighing the global implications of this decision.