BlueIron addresses a huge need in the patent world: the need for honest business advice about IP protection, and for meaningful valuations – and loans – treating your IP as valued business assets.
We have been using IP as collateral to finance startup companies since 2015 and have made dozens of investments.
Our main focus is to provide IP-collateralized loans for operating companies, although we do occasionally finance patent applications for IP-rich, pre-revenue companies.
As an aside, we produce informative blog posts about IP-related issues that nobody else is discussing.
We treat intellectual property, mostly patents, as collateral for financing your company. We do occasionally look at trademarks, trade secrets, and sometimes datasets as intellectual capital.
We have two big advantages to conventional lenders when it comes to using IP as collateral:
- We can value IP much better than conventional lenders.
- We can manage the IP in ways that conventional patent attorneys are able to do.
Our valuation methods
We can value IP because we live and breathe it.
Because we have partners with deep IP litigation and monetization experience, we have access to the latest, most up to date, and most realistic estimates for patent sales and monetization efforts. This gives us a realistic value of your IP assets based on the technology, competitor base, litigation strength of your IP, and many other factors.
We also have the ability to supplement existing IP by acquisition and by developing new IP for a company.
We manage IP properly
Most people hire a patent attorney thinking that they will somehow be “protected,” but they have that sneaking suspicion that something isn’t right.
A patent attorney is a hired gun. They sell patents to anyone who wants one, and they get paid upfront. Their economic incentive is to write patents for anyone and for anything, no matter how awful the invention is.
Our approach is not to just “get more patents,” but to focus the IP efforts in ways that add real, commercial value. For every set of patent claims, we want targeted infringers/licensees, analysis of detectability and enforceability, and an economic analysis of the value of the IP to the business. If any of these factors is missing, we move on to target the right IP. We prefer data-driven patents over lots of shiny plaques.
I got into the patent business because I was unhappy with how my patent attorney “helped” me. I was so disappointed in the “advice” I got that I took the patent bar, became a patent agent, then worked for 3 years at a law firm to “learn the trade.”
I went to law school, opened up a solo practice, and wrote hundreds of patent applications for companies big and small, where I got to hone my craft as the “hired gun” outside counsel.
I had the opportunity to join a startup company and become “in-house” counsel, where my responsibility was to create value through our IP portfolio, not just grind out endless patent applications.
We also provide patent insurance, which compliment our financing of the patent applications. Patent enforcement insurance is pre-paid legal fees to go after competitors who infringe your patent, and patent defense insurance handled in-bound lawsuits from competitors or patent trolls.
Our clients range from startups to publicly traded companies, but we only work with companies who are bringing products to market. We do not work with independent inventors or companies whose main goal is licensing.
My book “Investing In Patents” describes the systematic process for due diligence on inventions, as well as a comprehensive framework for a startup’s IP strategy. The podcast “Patent Myths” tackles many complex IP issues, simplifying them into meaningful strategies for today’s entrepreneurs.
This is a message of hope and encouragement. Armed with a few simple tools, entrepreneurs can build their businesses with the comfort that they have a good strategy in hand.
Russ has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, as well as a JD from Denver University. Russ has been on Intellectual Asset Magazine’s Top 300 Patent Strategists for several years running and is a Certified Patent Valuation Analyst.
You can schedule a time to talk with Russ here: