Full court press for patent licensing negotiations

Many companies want to license their technologies. But what happens when a company takes a license, then decides to quit paying – or refuses to negotiate after the first license runs out? LG Electronics is facing the same thing with TCL, a Chinese manufacturer of televisions. LG had a license agreement in place with TCL.…

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IP Theft by an “Angel” Investor

An angry “angel” investor commits federal crimes by stealing IP. How an investor stole intellectual property from a portfolio company. This is a true story. Sadly, predatory actions by so-called “angel” investors are more common than it should be. An angel investor has a portfolio of maybe a dozen startup companies. This investor takes a…

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Beware of (some) Angel Group’s Due Diligence

Not all “due diligence” is created equal. There are hundreds of angel groups all across the country, and each one has a different flavor. Some are occasional “dinner clubs” fashioned after Shark Tank, where a couple startups pitch and investors might make an investment on the spot. Others are extraordinarily sophisticated in their screening, mentoring,…

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Smaller Companies CAN Use IP to Protect Against Bigger Competitors

“Grown ups” use patents to their strategic advantage. Intellectual property can be a very strategic asset for smaller companies – when done well. Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh corporation, a $6.6B market cap company, might not be a startup company, but they can be a smaller player in a big market. Oshkosh has been…

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What Is Patent Infringement?

Patent infringement is when someone else uses your patented idea without permission. The strict, legal definition is when someone infringes or performs every limitation of at least one patent claim. This is found in 35 USC 271. Many inventors and entrepreneurs believe that having a patent means they are “protected.” Having a patent just means…

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Lawsuit dismissed for undetectable software patent claims

Summary: Undetectable claims are a huge problem during litigation. This highlights the disconnect between what the patent attorney does during examination – and what the litigator needs to successfully sue infringers. DataWidget vs Mailchimp Datawidget sued Mailchimp for patent infringement, but the case was dismissed because the patent claims were undetectable. The patent being asserted…

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How Patent Pools Work

Patent pools and standards essential patents are the Holy Grail of intellectual property. Patent pools are sophisticated ways that companies can bring technology together, cross license them, and license that package of intellectual property to the market. For many major technologies, such as Bluetooth, MPEG, 3G, 4G, and even electric vehicle charging, companies have banded…

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Financing patents for pre-angel or pre-seed startups

Good patents only come from a good business BlueIron provides financing for patents – but only when the patent makes good business sense. When we finance patents, we do extensive due diligence to make sure the patents will have value before our investment. We have skin in the game. In this article, we talk about…

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IP Due Diligence Checklist

Due diligence is essential for any business deal, and IP due diligence is shockingly left out of the equation for most angel investors and venture capital investors. Due diligence is hard work. Doing it well will get your hands dirty. Introduction to IP Due Diligence Any due diligence exercise, especially IP due diligence, involves turning…

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Detectability is a Key Factor for Patent Value

Updated 16 Jan 2022. Patents Need to be Detectable. This may appear to be an obvious statement, but people pour money into patents where infringement simply cannot be detected. Here’s a case where undetectable software claims were thrown out of federal court. When looking at an invention (or an issued patent), one of the first…

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