Monday, 15 June 2015

ORoPO launches at IPBC 2015

ORoPO, the world’s first open register of patent ownership, is being launched today at the IPBC Global 2015 event in San Francisco. ORoPO is a voluntary, non-profit organisation with the goal of achieving greater transparency around patent ownership on a global scale and its founding members include (in alphabetical order) ARM, BAE Systems Conversant, Finjan, IBM, Microsoft, Patent Properties and Shazam.

Operated by its founder members, ORoPO is led by CEO Roger Burt and enjoys the support of an Advisory Board which includes David Kappos (Cravath, and former USPTO director), Sir Robin Jacob (Professor of IP Law, UCL, and former IP judge), Sir Nigel Shadbolt (co-founder of the Open Data Institute), Tony Clayton (formerly Chief Economist of the UK IPO) and Heather Meeker (O’Melveny & Myers). The name ORoPO is an acronym of Open Register of Patent Ownership. You can check ORoPO out on its website here.

The idea behind ORoPO is simple. Right now, information as to who owns the world’s patents is recorded in 180 patent offices worldwide. However, a combination of data entry and translation errors, a lack of corporate naming harmonisation and the absence of regulation mandating that changes in ownership be recorded means that an estimated 25% of this information is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date. This inaccuracy has serious consequences for the exploitation of the intellectual property assets that now account for up to 70% of enterprise value.

The launch of ORoPO is accompanied by the release of Who Owns the World’s Patents? Why patent ownership data accuracy is a problem worth solving, a report sponsored by Aistemos. Drawing on original research it explores the issues around patent ownership accuracy in detail, and quantifies some of the benefits that data accuracy could enable. Highlights include:
* 96% of corporate executives surveyed think it is important for there to be an accurate and accessible record of who owns which patents. 98% would be supportive of a free and open global register of patent owners which allows patent owners to verify ownership information.

* 95% thought greater data openness around patent ownership would increase licensing activity 
*· On average, they thought it would increase by around 6% - a rise that would increase annual patent licensing income by an estimated $30 billion annually, and unlock economic value of an estimated $300 billion per year.
Commenting in the report, Nigel Swycher, Aistemos CEO, said:
“The fact that patent data is messy should be no surprise. It is a characteristic of every dataset that has evolved from systems that have been in place for hundred of years. The current unsatisfactory position is accident not design, and there are no long-term benefits for anyone trying to game the status quo. ORoPO is a major step forward and I hope patent owners capitalise on the opportunity it provides.”    

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