[the firm supporting controversial European is-it-a-troll IPCom GmbH]), on "Leveraging your IP: An alternative to patent monetization". Said Eran, the value of a patent is based on its enforceability; by selling one, you may receive cash but you lose the opportunities and flexibilities in changing the behaviour of competitors that patents offer. For small companies, litigation is always risky and dangerous: Google bought Motorola for its patents: if a small operating patent owner sues Google, its obvious response is to turn its patents on the threatener.
Andrew listed the classic possibilities for each patents: sell, license, litigate or build a company. That's great, but each of these options is available for every patent owner. In this context, trolls are no big deal: what's the problem? If there are no trolls, there's no market. And if you can't sue, why buy? Andrew then waxed lyrical on the US Supreme Court decisions in eBay v MercExchange and Medimmune v Genentech and the impact of those decisions on the value of patents and the development of the asset market. Now people are buying a few patents, putting them into a corporate shell, going public and making a fortune.
Barry Schindler (Greenberg Traurig, USA) then tackled "Building patent value from the start: global patent strategies". As a patent lawyer, he explained that it was important to consider patents as individual assets in order to understand their asset value, and that's what patent lawyers are for. This means looking at the patent's claims: everything starts and ends with them. Also look at the extent to which that patent is cited and used as a reference in other patents. What about patent types? Sectoral spin-off should be understood: for example, a software programme developed for use in the pharmaceutical sector may be applicable outside it too. Within each patent too, the number of claims can be multiplied so as effectively to embrace several inventions in one go.
patent prosecution highway, it being important to avoid the worst-case scenario of publishing one's invention and then not getting a patent. Defensive strategies include the submission of third-party statements that point to published prior art. Post-grant strategies were reviewed too, bearing in mind that it's far more difficult to knock out a killer claim when it's spread across a number of patents, given the cost.
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Koenraad then reviewed some case law from the Netherlands and Germany, in which it has been shown that injunctive relief may be available to a patent owner even when a patent has been offered for FRAND licensing -- and that interim relief may be obtained where there is no indication that the defendant was seriously intending to take a FRAND licence. The outcome of the reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Orange Book case is keenly awaited.