Thursday, 26 November 2015
Wednesday, 25 November 2015
|Crickets - by Billy Hathorn|
In past years, the Spending Review (or whatever it was known as in that particular year, the name changes) has brought us things like the patent box, R&D relief, and so on.
This year … crickets, from a tax perspective. Nothing much, really (a small change on entering into the intangibles tax regime for corporate partners).
There's some spending announcements though (with the usual caveat that it's a bit hard to tell what's new money and what's been announced before):
- £5bn in health R&D, including £50m in antimicrobial resistance research;
- £150m to launch a Dementia Institute (presumably to do R&D);
- investing £6.9bn in capital (capital what?) to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in science and research, and protecting the current £4.7bn research funding "in real terms" for the same purpose - but note that £6.9bn includes the £150m for the Dementia Institute;
- investing £250m in a nuclear R&D programme (looks like it will be mostly for small modular reactor development, and focussed on spending in the North of England);
- protecting funding for the arts in real cash terms for 5 years;
- the £1bn Ross Fund investing in R&D in drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for infectious diseases – patterned with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, so not all of that £1bn is coming out of UK pockets;
- playing a leading role in international research efforts to reduce the costs of low carbon energy (no £ information indicated, though);
- a new entity called "Research UK", based on the Paul Nurse review recommendations. This will work across (not with? maybe just poor wording …) the Research Councils to promote a strategic approach to science funding. Innovate UK will be integrated into Research UK. The Research Excellence Framework will be reviewed.
The Review also notes that scientific R&D has grown by 21.3% and architecture and engineering activities by 38.8% (possibly since the beginning of 2010, although that's not entirely clear, and neither is it clear what metric they are measuring – employment numbers? capital expenditure? revenue expenditure?).
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
World Intellectual Property Review is running a survey about FRAND and the formation of the Fair Standards Alliance reported on this blog here.
WIPR is asking whether you agree that the definition of FRAND must have a clearer meaning to allow standards to foster innovation. There's no link provided to the arguments set out in the Fair Standards Alliance's white paper (found here), but at least one can post comments.
In this blogger's view, the question is a leading one. It's seems to be a no-brainer that it would be nice to have a clearer understanding of FRAND. But what does a clearer understanding mean? Clearly different things to different people and that is the kernel of the problem.
The survey can be taken here.
Friday, 20 November 2015
- A license for a SEP should be available at any point in the value chain where the standard is implemented, and the important terms of those licenses should be transparent to other companies implementing the same standards;
- A FRAND royalty should reflect the value of the invention. In most cases that means that it should be based on the smallest device that implements those patents, and additionally it should take into account the overall royalty that could be reasonably charged for all patents that are essential to that standard;
- Injunctions and similar legal threats should be a last resort;
- A FRAND commitment made in respect of a SEP should not fall away simply because the SEP is sold to another company.
Tuesday, 17 November 2015
Google, along with a number of other companies, started the
License On Transfer (LOT) Network on July 9, 2014. The general purpose of the program is to
reduce the risk of being sued by a Patent Assertion Entity (PAE) for network
participants. The danger present for all
market participants is that an operating company with patent assets may fall on
hard times and have to sell their patents to a PAE or may just choose to do so. The LOT Network protects its members from
suit from patents acquired by PAEs from their members. Essentially,
all parties agree that if one of the patents potentially subject to the license
(the network members' patent portfolios) is transferred to a PAE then the license is effective as to that patent. This means that the members of the LOT
Network are basically immune from an infringement suit under that patent from the
PAE once the transfer to a PAE occurs. The
agreement is carefully drafted to exclude “triggering events” from including
transfers to non-PAE’s. The agreement
can be found, here. According to a presentation
concerning the program, the members of the group have been insulated from at
least one transfer of a subject patent to a Japanese PAE.