Many companies are increasingly looking to the federal government during COVID-19 for liquidity or other financial assistance. Colleague Drew Schulte recently spoke with host Joel Simon on Pillsbury’s Industry Insights podcast and highlighted a variety of strategies available to companies with intellectual property assets (and particularly patents or patentable assets) to reduce costs and to generate revenue by monetizing their IP assets.
We briefly look at some of the mechanisms, including open source software, patent pool, and open patent pledge, that are helping facilitate this open innovation paradigm.
Innovation has become seemingly synonymous with operating a successful business as the projected success of a company is measured by both its ability to innovate and its track record of innovation. Patent law is an area of law tasked by the U.S. Constitution to promote innovation. Patents and innovation should therefore ostensibly have some correlation for business.
While companies in every industry are working hard to figure out the best response to this global pandemic, those in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries have been faced with some unique challenges related to the balancing of intellectual property rights with serving the public good. One particular question that such companies might face is whether parts of their patent portfolio are connected to federal funding and if so, how the Bayh-Dole Act may come into play as the government faces increasing pressure to meet public health needs.
As the world collectively struggles to adapt to the “new normal,” it is clear that one of many challenges facing businesses and individuals is how to best adapt to supply chain disruptions. A key example of where these shortages are being reported is in the health care sector, which is experiencing a limited (or non-existent) supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers and ventilators for patients. Not only have these shortages placed a strain on those treating patients who have fallen ill from COVID-19, but it has also frustrated efforts to fully identify who may or may not be infected. As one example, in a recent interview conducted by The Indicator podcast, it was reported that limited supplies of PPE to protect workers during patient sample collections were in turn limiting the ability of the University of Washington’s health center to test patients for coronavirus.
With great power comes great responsibility. 5G is the next generation of 3GPP technology. Along with having the potential to facilitate the next leap in connectivity, 5G technology supremacy also has the power to define the geopolitics of the next century. As the global battle for 5G dominance plays out, companies are driving hard to secure coveted Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) encompassing 5G technology. The victor will secure substantial revenue and money flow in the form of patent royalties.
Be you a founder, would-be investor or acquirer, correctly valuing the intellectual property of a company is rarely a simple task, but it can be even more challenging when that IP involves artificial intelligence or machine learning. See what our colleague Josh Tucker has to say about the challenges and importance of protecting underlying IP on 7 Mile Advisors’ Deal Talk podcast, “How Patents, AI and Machine Learning Affect Value.”
CBD, CBG, CBA, CBN, THC—the race to find the holy grail of cannabinoid production is in full swing. Money flows abound, unicorn-hungry investors looking to capture market share are swirling around promising frontrunners with lucrative IP. One interesting segment of cannabis IP gaining traction focuses on cannabinoids synthesis from microorganisms such as yeast.
Given the growth of investments in and shift of regulatory views regarding cannabis-related products, many companies in industries like medicine, lifestyle and foods/beverages are looking to carve out niches and be leaders in the relatively new space. As with any new technology space, it is essential to have a robust intellectual property protection strategy to both establish and preserve one’s position as a dominant player in an emerging market. One important step that a company may take when creating such a strategy is applying for patents.
On January 7, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office released new guidance for how patent examiners should evaluate patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In “Evaluating the Evaluation: Breaking Down New USPTO Guidance for Patent-Eligible Subject Matter,” colleagues Jack S. Barufka, Ngai Zhang, and Matthew W. Hindman examine the new guidance—and what it means for patent eligibility going forward.