26 October 2021

News

There is no doubt that we are at the beginning of a transformative time for technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the world as we know it. Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence are set to radically change multiple industries and the patent ecosystem is no exception. Using these emerging technologies to register, manage, assess, and transact patents, opens a new horizon for the implementation of patent strategies. In the past, fundamental limitations and lack of answers resulted in unused patent assets, missed opportunities, and a waste of internal resources. Thanks to recent technological improvements, deploying a comprehensive patent strategy is achievable and owners can finally fully maximize their patent value no matter how you choose to do that—be it adoption, commercialization, monetization or other metrics traditionally associated with asset management and every other asset on your balance sheet.

It is estimated that intangible assets represent around 80% of the value of the S&P 500 [1].  For most startups and technological SMEs, this percentage might be closer to representing  almost the entirety of the company’s value. Because of the type of protection and rights they grant, patents are the strongest type of IP among those intangible assets. In a crowded and fierce technological market, patents protect inventions, provide solutions to technical problems, and allow for the quantification, evaluation, and use of innovation as a competitive and cooperative tool.  Moreover, the current information age brings about a vast spread of technical knowledge and almost unlimited access by anybody from (almost) anywhere to the ideas, technologies, and company products being developed and commercialized all around the globe. This is driving the need for companies to have a vision for global patent strategy now more than ever.

The use of patents or their relevance for a company’s business has been extremely limited and inefficient due to, among other factors, the low quality of patent data, the impossibility to manage and extract (almost any) insight from patents, and the high costs associated with patent tasks. Underused assets are thus a result of the inability to assess in a meaningful and systematic way the strength and competitive position of patents. So much so, that quite often patents have been avoided altogether or filed for the sake of owning a given quantity of them, and a patent strategy has meant filing without a purpose beyond protecting some technical features of those technologies and products developed in-house, while barely dedicating any attention on the asset’s protection value or future exploitation. What this really means is no consideration for building a patent portfolio that has the potential of strengthening market competitive position, fostering, and even creating new business.

Another common issue arises from those patents that have been long forgotten and suddenly revisited within the company, often as a last resort to produce income. Unfortunately, in these cases, only a small number of portfolios can generate any kind of revenue because no substantial patent strategy was initially deployed so it becomes increasingly difficult that these patents, thought-out mostly for defensive purposes, end up having value beyond their in-house use. A second cause is the deficit of in-depth insight on the portfolio, its features and relations to other similar patent protections and market products. This lack of in-depth insight prevents sellers and licensors from accessing the full range of available opportunities, the most suitable path to a successful adoption, commercialization, or monetization, and how to best present to potential buyers, licensees and partners why they should acquire, license or cooperate regarding that specific patented technology.

Now AI-based patent analytics enable a much deeper assessment of the strength of both individual patents and portfolios, regardless of their size. They also provide a portfolio’s patent landscape, which reveals not only how this portfolio is positioned presently, but how new filings or acquisitions could claim new areas of protection that improve its scope and value in the future. In addition, the determination of a portfolio’s patent position supports and makes efficient the thorough analysis of the relationships between the intangible and related market products or services, which defines one of the key factors of patent value: market relevance.

Maximizing value of a patent portfolio is not only about monetizing patents. Patents are complex assets that are difficult for even patent experts to comprehend. For this reason, a good patent strategy must first be able to make the patent asset accessible. When the characteristics of a portfolio and its benefits can be successfully shown so that anybody can grasp them in a general business understanding, the portfolio can start producing value [2]. Patents can substantially impact the capacity of a business for attracting investment or increase its stock pricing since the market and investors can better evaluate the worth of the company’s innovation.

Once this kind of sound knowledge of a portfolio is achieved and turned into insight, following a comprehensive approach for patent strategy, the use of its patent assets can be exploited to its full extent: the ability to identify and proceed with patent-specific strategies, enhanced adoption, commercialization and monetization, filing and acquisition strategies, the assessment of patent-related risk mitigation by detecting potential threats or actively pursuing business opportunities, support of patent-based funding, insurance and much more.

In the new horizon, patent strategies should be dedicated to making patents accessible while expanding protection value in a wide array of solutions. There it is time for patents to be all they can be.

[1] https://www.visualcapitalist.com/intangible-assets-driver-company-value/

[2] https://www.lexorbis.com/top-4-ways-patents-can-skyrocket-your-companys-valuation/

 


Author: Raúl Diaz Morales, Vice President, Patent Advisory Services

Raul Diaz Morales’ experience in the patent business is profound, previously managing multidisciplinary teams in IP firms in Europe and always enjoying being at the intersection where business, technology and patent law meet. Now more than ever, Raul looks forward to finding projects and also new ways to utilize his extensive IP knowledge with patents, technology and helping IPwe’s clients find an innovative edge.

About IPwe

IPwe is quickly emerging as creating the industry standard for patent NFTs. IPwe recently announced its partnership with IBM to represent patents as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). IPwe also has a partnership with CasperLabs  to further improve the patent registration process and create a chain of custody (CoC) Solution by using the Casper public blockchain to store, secure, and trace patent data, thereby creating a new approach to patent ownership verification. Patent NFTs are stored and shared on the IPwe Platform, running on the IBM Cloud and Blockchain services such as the Casper Network. IPwe anticipates tokenized IP to become commercially available in Q4 of 2021. IPwe operates in more than 50 countries with offices in Asia, Europe, North and South America. To learn more about how IPwe can provide the answers to your IP-related business decisions, Request a Demo of the IPwe Platform on www.ipwe.com

Press Contact
Mia Mixan
Corporate Marketing

14 October 2021

News

Traditional patent pools have helped change how we approach patent licensing and monetization. Importantly, they are in legal and business compliance with government and industry standards. The central idea behind patent pooling was to provide an efficient route towards licensing for technology implementers, while collectively rewarding the innovation of patent holders. However, given the high and inefficient costs in which the administrators of traditional patent pools economically prevail over participants, the model for patent pools is ripe for change.

With the increasing complexity and interoperability of modern innovation, patent pooling needs to do much more than just bundling patents and sharing licensing revenue.

For context, the modern smartphone consists of nearly 250,000 distinct patents.[1] 5G technology, which is only a small part of smartphone functionality, is expected to add an estimated 30,000 patents [2] to the fray. Fully unlocking the value of these interconnected patents requires more than just a patent ledger on a worksheet and payment links. It calls for smart patent management, and that’s where IPwe’s Smart Pools come into play.

What are IPwe’s Smart Pools?

IPwe’s Smart Pool is an intelligent program that delivers the benefit of exponential technologies to innovators that want to encourage adoption, maximize business opportunities, and generate a return on their investment, while maintaining maximum flexibility to change direction as future business and market conditions dictate. Like traditional patent pools, Smart Pools consist of two key groups: Founding Members (i.e., patent contributors) who agree to bundle their patent rights – without losing patent ownership – and Members (i.e., licensees), who take a license to the patents contributed to the pool, at an agreed-upon price.

Traditionally, patent pools functioned as a means of facilitating access to interconnected patent technology – a one-stop-shop. But many innovations involve an ecosystem of complementary patents. Some of these patents might be critical to the implementation of innovations, while others are enabled by the sum of its parts. Smart Pools allow the monetization of these patents without the need to pursue licensing on a one-to-one basis and the exorbitant expense that this might entail.

Traditional patent pools are incentivized to allay a fear of patent litigation; but they also encompass high fees and narrow focus and are inefficient in their ability to expand the licensing opportunities available to patent holders. Instead, in a world of more and more complex innovations, patent holders require tools that help them better understand their IP, license them in more innovative ways, and derive higher value from their monetization. Thanks to IPwe’s Smart Pools, they can benefit from a more efficient process that reduces transaction costs and enables a better structured and more coherent licensing strategy. Smart Pools provide cutting edge tools that help patent holders and implementers enjoy these benefits and more.

Why are they important?

Prolific institutions and corporate organizations frequently maintain a portfolio of tens to thousands of active patents. The process of combining and efficiently extracting the value of these patents through licensing is often expensive and inefficient. For instance, patent pools rely on incredible human effort to maintain licensing and revenue sharing activity – often at a cost of millions of dollars yearly. [3] This expense typically contributes to higher licensing costs which are then passed on to licensees.

IPwe’s Smart Pools introduce a more efficient, tech-enabled process that saves on the annual costs of pool maintenance. They ensure that innovators can sidestep the need to build expensive licensing structures, while earning revenue that fuels innovation instead. With these cost savings, patent holders can offer more competitive licensing prices, which can in turn facilitate broader adoption and license saturation.

In addition, Smart Pools provide both patent holders and implementers with the tools they need to make the most of their patent portfolio. These organizations often do not have efficient tools to manage their patents’ assets, and very few entities have the means and expertise to create such tools.

Due to IPwe’s proprietary algorithms and success data, including 14-year accumulating analytics and data – at an investment of $40 million – Smart Pools provide advanced analytics and data-oriented insights that help organizations identify, research, evaluate, and transact in patents. With the AI tools that Smart Pools provide, organizations can easily learn where their patents are best utilized, historical licensing data, and all the information they need to improve productivity for increased transactions and investment. The IPwe Platform productizes Erich Spangenberg’s previous IP strategies in selecting and taking principal positions in companies based on their IP value.  Erich and the IPwe team have earned companies $2.5+ billion.

What are the benefits for patent holders and licensees?

– Lower transaction costs: AI makes pool management easier, removing all of the inefficiencies that drive costs upwards. As a result, more licensees can enjoy access to the bundled patents at competitive rates that preserve their ability to profit from implementation efforts. Two broad areas in which Smart Pools provide an advantage to are search costs and negotiation costs:

– Search costs: Due to the fragmented and incomplete information that patent registries typically include, identifying issued patents is often tasking. Because patents typically use ambiguous titles, and new patents are being issued constantly, implementers require a coherent database that provides a complete and updated list of applicable patents.[4] In Smart Pools, IPwe not only publishes a comprehensive list of included patents and identities of their owners, but also provides detailed references on how each patent is related to the underlying technology.

– Negotiation costs: Innovation is increasingly compared to attempting to climb a pyramid. Each level consists of underlying patents that makes each succeeding innovation possible. However, for sequential innovators to improve on existing processes, they must often negotiate numerous licenses with preexisting patent owners and this likely results in higher licensing fees.[5] Smart Pools remove this barrier to innovation by enabling a single bundled license that benefits from the efficiency gains of a tech-enabled process and its resultant competitive pricing.

– Broader monetization base: Although patent holders wield considerable influence over the patent pooling process, they are not all created equal. Compared to large corporations that can monetize their patents on their own through mass production and implementation, other institutions like SMEs do not have this luxury. To facilitate this mission, IPwe gives SMEs the unprecedented opportunity to get free membership in its Smart Pools, which means free access to top industry patent portfolios, but also peace of mind that high litigation fees will not encompass SMEs’ funding and revenue, while allowing their proprietary ideas to be protected. Full and unfettered access to the Smart Pools’ technology for SMEs is a foundational design of this offering.

– Transparency: IPwe’s Smart Pools implement cutting edge tools based on blockchain and NFT technology to introduce greater transparency and ease into the patent licensing process. All licensing transactions on our platform occur through NFTs which allows patent and licensing information to be centralized in one place. This slashes discovery costs and helps mitigate the risk that some patent information might slip through the cracks.

– Adoption and Innovation: Smart Pools help facilitate faster adoption in tech areas that are very early in the adoption cycle, where there hasn’t been a significant amount of licensing activity. By providing access to cutting-edge technologies on standard terms, Smart Pools drive further innovation in two ways: first, the Pool’s revenue incentivizes and funds the Founding Members’ R&D; second, a single license to a wide patent portfolio encourages implementers to adopt new technologies, safe in the knowledge that they will have access to IP at a transparent and known cost.

[1] Robert P. Merges & Michael Mattioli, Measuring the Costs and Benefits of Patent Pools, Ohio St. L.J., Vol. 78:2, 281, 284 (2017).

[2] See https://www.justice.gov/atr/page/file/1298626/download.

[3] See supra note 1, at 312.

[4] Weimin Wu, Patent Pools and Cumulative Innovation, 46 Rutgers L. REC. 40, 57 (2018-2019).

[5] Id. at 58.


 

Author: Lavinia Meliti, Global Head of Business & Legal Affairs

Lavinia Meliti leads strategy and execution of IPwe’s business and legal initiatives. Passionate about Intellectual Property, she strives to explore its disruption through the escalating integration of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain technology. She holds two Juris Doctor degrees in Europe and in the United States, and previously worked as an Attorney in Miami, Florida, focusing on IP and Competition Law matters.

 

About IPwe

IPwe is quickly emerging as creating the industry standard for patent NFTs. IPwe recently announced its partnership with IBM to represent patents as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). IPwe also has a partnership with CasperLabs  to further improve the patent registration process and create a chain of custody (CoC) Solution by using the Casper public blockchain to store, secure, and trace patent data, thereby creating a new approach to patent ownership verification. Patent NFTs are stored and shared on the IPwe Platform, running on the IBM Cloud and Blockchain services such as the Casper Network. IPwe anticipates tokenized IP to become commercially available in Q4 of 2021. IPwe operates in more than 50 countries with offices in Asia, Europe, North and South America. To learn more about how IPwe can provide the answers to your IP-related business decisions, Request a Demo of the IPwe Platform on www.ipwe.com

Press Contact
Mia Mixan
Corporate Marketing

11 October 2021

Press Release

LOS ANGELES and PARIS, October 11, 2021– Crown Electrokinetics Corp. (NASDAQ: CRKN) (“Crown” or the “Company”), a leading smart glass technology company, has acquired 10 patents from IBM Corporation that complement its patent portfolio. Crown now has a patent portfolio of broad applicability in the smart glass technology area consisting of 34 patents and applications that offer coverage in key global markets.  

 Crown used IPwe, a patent transaction platform, to identify, analyze, negotiate, and complete the transaction with IBM.   

 “Many of the companies that use the IPwe platform recognize that there are highly relevant patents owned by innovation leaders like IBM that offer significant benefits if they can be efficiently identified, analyzed and acquired. IBM has thousands of employees that focus on research and these experts innovate in many areas, including smart glass technologies. Crown is forward-thinking enough to realize that acquisitions are a key part of any intelligent intellectual property strategy and acquiring patents from innovation leaders like IBM and others through highly efficient transactions makes tremendous business sense,” said Erich Spangenberg, CEO of IPwe.  

“Crown has an excellent in-house research and development team dedicated to innovating in the smart glass space. We are also aware that key innovation is occurring outside of Crown, and we want to leverage these opportunities through a highly efficient platform like IPwe,” stated Douglas Croxall, CEO of Crown. “The time for faster more efficient exchanges of IP is now made possible by the IPwe Platform and smart buyers and sellers will take advantage of this to dramatically improve their market positions.” 

 Far too often, the only metric used to measure IP is “how many.” Crown and IPwe wanted to do something other than just increase the number of patents Crown holds and to ensure Crown is significantly improving the overall quality of its patent portfolio. As this market expands, Crown wants to occupy the leading technology position in the smart glass market, and according to IPwe analytics, Crown is well on its way to obtaining the leading position in smart glass intellectual property.  

Crown acquired 10 patents and applications from IBM with coverage in the US, China, Great Britain, Germany and Japan. The patents are core to smart glass technologies, ranging from technical features oriented to dynamically changing the opacity of glass to different applications such as glass that is impenetrable to laser or different uses for the automotive industry, including smart vehicle windshields and windows that eliminate glare and provide environmental control. 


About Crown Electrokinetics 

Crown is a smart glass technology company and the creator of DynamicTint – We Make Your Glass Smarter™. Originally invented by Hewlett-Packard (HP, Inc.), our technology allows any glass surface to transition between clear and dark in seconds. With applications to a wide array of windows, including commercial buildings, automotive sunroofs, and residential skylights, we partner with leading glass and film manufacturers for mass production and distribution. At the core of our technology is a thin film that is powered by electrically-charged pigment which not only replaces common window tints but is also a more sustainable alternative to traditional window treatments. With its unique ability to be retrofitted to existing glass, DynamicTint™ offers myriad benefits related to reducing carbon emissions. The company is supported by a robust patent portfolio. For more information, please visit WWW.CROWNEK.COM. 

About IPwe 

IPwe is quickly emerging as creating the industry standard for patent NFTs. IPwe recently announced its partnership with IBM to represent patents as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). IPwe also has a partnership with CasperLabs to further improve the patent registration process and create a chain of custody (CoC) Solution by using the Casper public blockchain to store, secure, and trace patent data, thereby creating a new approach to patent ownership verification. Patent NFTs are stored and shared on the IPwe Platform, running on the IBM Cloud and Blockchain services such as the Casper Network. IPwe operates in more than 50 countries with offices in Asia, Europe, North and South America. To learn more about how IPwe can provide the answers to your IP-related business decisions, visit www.ipwe.com 

Press Contact
Mia Mixan
Corporate Marketing

5 October 2021

News

Everybody appreciates standardization. Because of technical standardization, trains can cross borders; mobile phones are operational around the globe; chargers, plugs, and wires work for more than one device; screw drivers match screw heads; money can be wired through undersea cable; drugs can be developed faster, cheaper, and safer; airplanes and ships do not collide in increasingly crowded skies and seas; a Japanese DVD player can read and play US-American DVDs – just to mention a few.

Interoperability is the flagship use case for technical standardization and is often referred to as a key benefit when standardization is mentioned. From an end-user perspective, interoperability seems to be primarily improving comfort and pricing, which are both great achievements. Let’s stick with the train example. If German trains were not compatible with Belgian and French tracks, a train from Berlin to Paris would stop at the German/Belgian border, off-board its passengers and have them switch to a Belgian train. The same would happen at the Belgian/French border. Maintaining multiple border stations and the corresponding railway infrastructure would be expensive and most definitely impact the price of the Berlin/Paris railway ticket. Besides the cost dimension, it is way more comfortable for the passenger to board the train in Berlin and drive through three European countries to Paris.

A question that is addressed less prominently when discussing technical standardization is how does the end-user benefit from technical standardization, beyond the mere interoperability improvement, regarding personal comfort? The answer is features. Good examples can be found in the first iPhone or the Motorola Razr. Companies like Nokia, Siemens, and Ericsson (just to name a few, even back then there were dozens of companies contributing to telecommunication standards) had focused their R&D efforts on developing a basic infrastructure for providing phone calls and internet access through the air interface at a global scale. Under the roof of the 3GPP cooperation, “cordless phone calls and internet access” were solved (and improved consistently since) – providing the nurturing ground for the first smartphone class. Apple could basically “source the technology” by licensing the patents from the innovating 3GPP members and focus its own R&D efforts on an excellent and disruptive user experience. Apple was very successful in doing so by aggregating an array of technologies like touchscreens, the Gorilla Glass, the “slide to unlock” functionality, etc. Motorola could – even though active in 3GPP itself – focus on producing a foldable phone which remains celebrated by fan groups to this day.

Standardization has been booming in the last few decades. Many standardization organizations have been brought into existence and issued a wide range of standards and technical norms. But technical standardization has also attracted other players who quickly understood that standards are of strategic importance. If your technology makes it into the leading standard, it becomes mandatory for everyone to use. Suddenly, the nerdy approach of finding the best solution to a technical problem got an additional dimension: standard politics. Centralized standardization is vulnerable to external influencers like any centralized system, depending on certain staffing and voting rules. Once a tipping point is reached, it is no longer guaranteed that the best technical solution is adopted, it might very well be the technical solution from the “right” or the most strategic submitting entity or country. How could a scenario where politically endorsed solutions take precedence over technically suitable solutions be avoided?

The first step to the answer is easy: by inducing competition. Competition will safeguard that the best solution prevails; best being defined as the best mix of cost and technical benefits. If competition is mentioned to people that are active in standardization, they quickly think of competing standards, like the epic battle between Blu-ray and HD-DVD over the succession of DVD technology. But what about a decentralized standardization system? What about the classic factual standards like the CD? The CD used to be proprietary technology of Philips, but its market adoption was so overwhelming that the underlying patents conveyed a market dominant position to its owner – a situation where the monopoly needs to be defused by a pledge to license the technology to all interested parties at fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. The currently prevailing centralized institutional standards (so-called de jure standards) make it highly unappealing for one company to try to outsmart the aggregated R&D effort of many, and to establish its own proprietary technology line as the best in-class. The market power of the combined efforts is just too smothering to stand a chance.

One countermovement can be seen in the open-access movements. Free access to essential technology makes it appealing to at least try the technology for cost reasons. But the downside of this approach is that the relationship between the technical foundations and the features is flipped around. Investing in openly accessible technology is an R&D effort that can hardly be recovered if it is given away for free. Therefore, companies will try to work only to some degree on the technical foundations and focus on the features as the selling point of the technologically enabled product. If, however, the features are more important than the technical essentials, “the tail is wagging the dog” and not vice versa. What is required to break the current conundrum is an IP-embracive approach to recover R&D efforts at fair return-on-investment and at the same time makes it appealing to develop features on top of it – effectively lowering the market-access hurdles also for smaller players in the ecosystem.

The solution is a decentralized incubator for emerging technologies – a technology sanctuary in which new solutions thrive, and get their fair chance to be developed, tested, and to succeed. The cornerstones of this approach are simple:

–   The technology contributors cross-license each other and share innovative ideas (post-filing or under NDA as trade secrets). The various solutions compete on the pool-internal market, and the strongest will emerge.

–   The shared technology is licensed to technology subscribers to recover the aggregated R&D effort. The subscribers get access to the technology (and not just freedom-to-operate) and can choose what to adopt from the available tech stack while their focus is on feature implementation. If their features in turn find market adoption, the subscribers can mature into becoming technology contributors themselves.

In combination with seasoned internal voting mechanisms, the incubator for emerging technologies provides a people and technology-driven nurturing ground as an alternative or an addition to centralized standardization.

 


 

Author: Jonas Block, Head of Artificial Intelligence

Jonas Block leads development of IPwe’s technology and novel approaches to dissolve the existing access restrictions and open the global IP commercialization markets for everyone by leveraging a unique combination of AI, blockchain and user-experience. He has a PhD in automated patent licensing and previously worked as a patent litigator in Germany where he focused on cross-border patent assertion and pan-European defensive strategies. He is currently tasked with Artificial Intelligence development and supporting NFT infrastructure design at IPwe.

 

About IPwe

IPwe is quickly emerging as creating the industry standard for patent NFTs. IPwe recently announced its partnership with IBM to represent patents as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). IPwe also has a partnership with CasperLabs  to further improve the patent registration process and create a chain of custody (CoC) Solution by using the Casper public blockchain to store, secure, and trace patent data, thereby creating a new approach to patent ownership verification. Patent NFTs are stored and shared on the IPwe Platform, running on the IBM Cloud and Blockchain services such as the Casper Network. IPwe anticipates tokenized IP to become commercially available in Q4 of 2021. IPwe operates in more than 50 countries with offices in Asia, Europe, North and South America. To learn more about how IPwe can provide the answers to your IP-related business decisions, Request a Demo of the IPwe Platform on www.ipwe.com

Press Contact
Mia Mixan
Corporate Marketing

4 October 2021

News

CasperLabs announces partnership with IPwe to improve the patent registration process and create a new approach to patent ownership verification. The joint chain of custody solution (CoC Solution) will use the Casper public blockchain to store, secure, and trace patent data.

 


The Opportunity

Intellectual Property (IP) is the largest and often most critical asset on most corporate balance sheets. CTOs and CFOs today are taking a greater interest in how IP is tracked, managed and deployed. A first step in the evolution of an improved understanding and management of this critical asset is a reliable CoC solution.

Casper and IPwe will deploy a CoC solution, enabling government entities and some of the largest enterprises in the world to better manage and utilize their IP. As with any asset class, the primary objectives will be met through increased transparency and understanding, and fulfilled through offering solutions that improve financial returns and lower costs.

The Solution

The CoC Solution will be developed in two phases.

Phase 1 will migrate selective, high-value information to the Casper public blockchain. Casper’s solution enables that patent data to be encrypted (all data is encrypted by default, but authors can choose to exclude certain fields from encryption so that it is open for public view), with decryption available only to the parties holding the encryption keys.

Phase 2 will implement a more robust integration with IPwe’s infrastructure to create a Global Patent Registry (GPR) with the Casper blockchain to support a consortium of Patent Owners, National Patent Offices, and Verifiers such as IPwe. GPR will bring the current process of granting, publishing, owning, transferring, and pledging patents onto the Casper blockchain, using smart contracts to manage these processes.

 


 

Check out the full Casper x IPwe case study for an overview of the IP ecosystem and the unique solution being built on the Casper network.

Press Contact
Mia Mixan
Corporate Marketing

27 September 2021

News

Dallas and Paris, Sept. 27, 2021: Blockchain technologies are entering a phase where adoption is accelerating across use cases for NFTs. This is reflected in the contributions made by University Technology Transfer leaders who are active members of the IPwe’s Advisory Committee. In its second meeting, the Advisory Committee hosted leading legal experts in blockchain and NFTs.

In early June, IPwe announced the launch of the Advisory Committee and its Chairman Ian McClure, the Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation and Economic Impact at the University of Kentucky, the Chair-Elect of AUTM, and formerly the Executive Director of the Office of Technology Commercialization. The Committee quickly formed, including university technology transfer leaders:

Emily Bauer, Director of Licensing at Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF)

Mike Alvarez Cohen, Director, Innovation Ecosystem Development, UC Berkeley OTL,

Jonathan Jensen, Director, Licensing, Office of Technology Development, Salk Institute for Biological Studies,

Marc Sedam, Vice President, Technology Opportunities and Ventures for NYU Langone Health,

Jon Soderstrom, Strategic Advisor, University Technology Commercialization and Faculty Innovation, Yale University,

Ashley Stevens, President, Focus IP Group, LLC, and an IP consultant to a public-private partnership which accelerates research to combat drug-resistant bacteria,

Dr. William Tucker, whose substantial contributions to university technology transfer during his impressive career are well known,

Bin Yan, Director, Office of Technology Transfer, University of Miami.

NYU Langone Heath VP Marc Sedam remarks that:

“The Committee is driving rapid learning about this technology-enabled opportunity, and input from its members to understand the patent NFT design for the needs of university technology transfer. I am excited to be a part of exploring greater value for patents and the innovation ecosystem.”

IPwe has been honored to have the participation of our committee members in helping to design NFTs that are best suited for university tech transfer. Issues ranging from the suitability of blockchain for tech transfer, trust, security, ESG impact, and other topics have been addressed. Cheryl Milone Cowles, who is leading this university NFT project for IPwe, stated that “over two years of effort between IPwe and IBM has gone into this NFT project and from day one the design mission was to create a patent NFT that met enterprise-level standards. A key part of the mission of IPwe and this Technology Transfer Committee is to receive critical input from technology transfer experts and enhance the NFT design to improve results for university innovation.”

As part of this mission, the Advisory Committee for University Technology Transfer has also received presentations from recognized legal experts on core topics, including:

–  Blockchain Smart Contracts, presented by Robert Rando, IP and Complex Litigation Partner at Greenspoon
Marder

Regulation, addressed by Mark Radcliffe, Experienced Silicon Valley Corporate and IP Transaction Lawyer at
DLA Piper

Privacy, covered by Peter Emmi, Tech Transactions Partner, Herb Kozlov, Corporate Partner and Head of
Global FinTech Practice, and Trevor Levine, Associate, at Reed Smith.

These legal experts provided key take-aways from the Advisory Committee meeting. Robert Rando’s objective in presenting smart contracts was to “distill the fundamentals of smart contracts (and Ricardian contracts) for patents NFT and NFT based transactions, identifying the beneficial legal and valuable business advantages/efficiencies derived from its simplicity and transparency.”

For the topic of Regulation, Mark Radcliffe notes that:

“IPwe’s patent NFTs focus on the use case of ownership or provenance, a market valued at $962B by 2030 by PWC. IPwe also has designed its patent NFTs to include traditional assignment and licensing transactions which have not been treated as securities. Although the law of securities as it applies to digital assets remains uncertain, the IPwe design minimizes the risk of a finding that the NFT is a security, but enterprises undermine this design if they promote the patent NFT as a potential investment, which is not the purpose for which IPwe designed the patent NFT.”

Ian McClure describes the progress of the Committee. “We know that reputable research firms are projecting dramatic growth in blockchain adoption for global enterprises, and we want to position university technology transfer to best take advantage of exponential technologies and NFTs to drive university innovation adoption, as applicable. Benefiting from the thought and considerable financial resources that have gone into this effort over the last two years from IPwe and IBM, it is obvious that IPwe and IBM have moved far beyond the novelty phase on NFTs and are working on a product that can make a difference in university technology adoption. The Advisory Committee is now able to educate and have input on design and function.”

IPwe is fortunate to have leading thinkers in the academic community to collaborate on exploring and building patent NFTs to maximize opportunities for this critical asset. With an emerging opportunity at the junction of law and technology, who better to analyze this with than business, technology, and legal scholars from academic and law firm institutions

 


 

About IPwe

IPwe is quickly emerging as creating the industry standard for patent NFTs. IPwe recently announced its partnership with IBM to represent patents as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). IPwe also has a partnership with CasperLabs  to further improve the patent registration process and create a chain of custody (CoC) Solution by using the Casper public blockchain to store, secure, and trace patent data, thereby creating a new approach to patent ownership verification. Patent NFTs will be stored and shared on the IPwe Platform, running on the IBM Cloud and Blockchain services such as the Casper Network. IPwe anticipates tokenized IP to become commercially available in Q4 of 2021. IPwe operates in more than 50 countries with offices in Asia, Europe, North and South America.   

Press Contact
Mia Mixan
Corporate Marketing

28 June 2021

Press Release

On June 26, 2021, Henry Wang, President of IPwe China, was elected as vice president of the China-Foreign Enterprise Association. Fan Jianhui, Director of District Commerce Bureau, presided over the election. A total of 299 representatives participated in the election.

During the election ceremony, Mr. Wang jointly signed the “Intellectual Property Rights Protection & Cooperation Agreement” along with representatives of Huangdao Customs, Qingdao’s Enterprise Federations, Shandong University of Science and Technology, and representatives from other distinctive government entities. The purpose of the agreement is to make comprehensive improvements to social governance of intellectual property protection, enhance the ability of the members of the Chinese and Foreign Enterprises Association to navigate intellectual property disputes, and build a comprehensive protection network bolstered by societal participation.

IPwe (China) has established relationships with the regional governments in Qingdao (West Cost New Area, the 3rd largest hi-tech development zone in China only after the Pudong District in Shanghai and the Binhai District in Tianjin), Hangzhou and Guangzhou, and deep relationships with leading universities like XJTLU and Chongqing University. IPwe (China) also has a presence in Shanghai and is expanding its relationships with additional regional governments.

About Qingdao West Coast New Area’s China-Foreign Enterprise Association

In order to optimize the business environment of the new area, the Qingdao West Coast New Area’s China-Foreign Enterprise Association was established under the initiative of the district government. The non-profit organization is comprised of enterprises, institutions and business operators of all kinds of ownership, relevant experts, distinguished scholars, and relevant business-related associations.

At present, the Federation’s members cover more than 20 industries of foreign-funded enterprises in the New Area, and is committed to promoting the synergy of “industry, academia and research“, providing assistance to member enterprises in policy, legal and business service, strengthening the linkage between government and enterprises, creating a close-knit network of entrepreneurs and investors + supporting services in the New Area, and promoting the positive economic and social development of the New Area.

About IPwe China

IPwe China is headquartered in Qingdao West Coast New Area (in close proximity to Japan, Korea and Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei), with subsidiaries in Hangzhou (servicing the Yangtze River Delta) and Guangzhou (servicing the Greater Bay Area).

Tapping in to IPwe’s Global Patent Registry, and blockchain and AI-powered analytics, while accumulating local knowledge of China’s booming IP market, it has negotiated nearly 300 cooperative agreements with China’s large enterprises, SMEs, science and technology parks, universities and research institutions. IPwe China focuses on promoting innovation, accelerating technology transfer, and removing barriers from China’s IP operations as a whole.

Press Contact
Mia Mixan
Corporate Marketing

8 June 2021

News

Investors, both speculative and strategic, are adjusting to the emergence of a bold new category of assets—digital collectibles. NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, are so called because they are irreplaceable or one-of-a-kind artifacts—effectively, digital “limited editions.”

NFTs trade on blockchains or distributed ledgers, typically without middlemen or brokers. The primary advantage of most blockchains is transparency and efficiency. Agreements are recorded on an open ledger for all to see. This is especially attractive to frequent traders who require accurate pricing and full disclosure for difficult-to-value assets.

Now, two stalwarts in the intellectual property world, IBM and IPwe, believe that NFTs can be used to take patent monetization to new heights. They have teamed up to tokenize patents on the IBM blockchain…But given IBM’s depth in blockchain technology, its expansive patent portfolio, and IPwe’s experience in patent transactions, IP watchers will want to keep a close eye on developments.

Continue Reading Here

Press Contact
Mia Mixan
Corporate Marketing

4 June 2021

Press Release

IPwe today announced the launch of an Advisory Committee for University Technology Transfer with a focus on tokenized patents as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). IPwe is also delighted to announce that the Advisory Committee will be chaired by Ian McClure of the University of Kentucky.

IPwe is the world’s first blockchain-powered Global Patent Market that combines the information and tools to identify, research, evaluate and transact in patents. Large enterprises, small businesses, universities, research institutions looking to enhance their IP profiles, as well as venture capital and investment firms with interests in technology and IP-backed companies, all benefit from IPwe’s unique value proposition.

The IPwe Platform productizes CEO Erich Spangenberg‘s previous IP strategies. Erich selected (based on predictive and then AI analytics developed with an investment of $40 million) and took principal positions in companies based on their IP value. Employing this strategy, Erich and the IPwe team have completed $2.5+ billion in licensing, financing and acquisition transactions. The strategies from this proven track record are reflected in IPwe’s AI-driven IP analytics, proprietary algorithms and databases.

Since its founding in 2018, IPwe has built its tech stack on AI and blockchain while expanding its network. In 2019, IBM selected IPwe as one of 10 startups likely to scale their blockchain business networks in IBM’s Blockchain Accelerator Program. IPwe recently announced the next stage of our partnership with IBM to launch patent NFTs. “The use of NFTs to represent patents will help create completely new ways to interact with IP, connecting people to patents through transparency and discovery of patent information,” said Spangenberg. “The IPwe team is now ready to execute on our longer-term vision of being the go-to fintech platform for IP evaluation and transactions, as IP develops into an asset class.”

“The mission at the launch of the Advisory Committee for University Technology Transfer is to explore how patent NFTs can facilitate the commercialization and market development of university innovations and discoveries, based on unique data attributes related to technology transfer,” said Spangenberg.

Ian McClure’s role as Chair of the Advisory Committee is based on his outstanding leadership in the technology transfer community, which will be invaluable to the exploratory work of the Committee. Ian, formerly the Executive Director of the Office of Technology Commercialization, is the Chair-Elect of AUTM and the Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation and Economic Impact at the University of Kentucky.

In addition, Ian brings a legacy of leading the IP industry in creating, optimizing and monetizing IP value in technology-driven transactions. He was part of the founding team and a senior executive at Intellectual Property Exchange International (IPXI), the world’s first financial exchange for trading IP rights. Ian describes the outcome of IPXI and potential of patent NFTs, commenting:

“Despite building the most advanced IP transactions products (Unit License Rights) and patent marketplace platform of its time, IPXI couldn’t solve for the unwillingness of buyers (licensees) to trust what we couldn’t prove without external validation (e.g., evidence of use, proof of validity, and the existence of other transactions).

“Optimizing IP as a transactable asset class requires greater information transparency and quicker data validation to increase predictability. While potential barriers such as securities and regulatory issues need to be vetted, I’m very interested in the potential that blockchain and NFTs present to these core principles in IP transactions.

“Think about the possibilities for creating immutable evidence and symmetries of information, decentralized from the court system. In the technology transfer space, university IP is based on science that is the result of extensive research and typically years before market development. I’m excited to explore the possibility for blockchain and NFTs to help verify research data and create broader and more efficient access to these inventions.”

Erich views Ian as a thought leader in modernizing the world’s IP system. “Ian is one of the people I hold in very high regard because he is willing to explore new ways to facilitate innovation, particularly for SMEs, which we believe are the engine to power our economy by creating jobs and solving important problems. IPXI, as often is the case, was a decade-plus ahead of its time. IPXI, like many patent owners, saw the future. Today, that future is technology-enabled,” said Spangenberg.

A broader ecosystem including financial institutions, insurers, enterprises and other patent stakeholders are planned in the coming months to support the use and exchange of tokenized patent NFTs, using these new technologies. IPwe is delighted to explore with this Advisory Committee, under Ian’s leadership, the design and execution of patent NFTs to support universities.

Press Contact
Mia Mixan
Corporate Marketing

21 April 2021

Press Release

We are thrilled to announce plans to begin representing patents as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or digital assets by working with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to create the infrastructure for representing patents as NFTs and storing the records on a blockchain network. The tokenization of intellectual property (IP) will help position patents to be more easily sold, traded, commercialized or otherwise monetized and bring new liquidity to this asset class for investors and innovators.  (IBM Newsroom)

Tokenization provides greater transparency and can also make related transactions simpler and more cost-efficient. By representing IP in this way, it can be licensed, sold and commercialized. Organizations can also more easily view the IP as an asset on their balance sheet. While NFTs have been used to represent digital art, sports memorabilia and even iconic Tweets, the early adoption of IP-based NFTs could usher in a transformation of how IP is treated by inventors and enterprises.   

“The IPwe Platform is designed to transform the patent asset class by increasing transparency and promoting engagement, which we believe will encourage innovation,” said IPwe CEO Erich Spangenberg. “The use of NFTs to represent patents will help create completely new ways to interact with IP. This is expected to benefit not only large enterprises that have significant intellectual property, but it will bring new opportunities to small and medium enterprises and even individual IP owners. We believe it will usher in new offerings by financial services firms and corporations to promote the evolution of a new patent asset class.”

These NFTs will be stored and shared on the IPwe Platform, hosted on IBM Cloud and powered by IBM Blockchain. The IPwe Platform also enables the Global Patent Marketplace, which allows owners and other members of the patent ecosystem to engage and transact, buy, license, finance, sell, research and commercialize patents. IPwe, working with IBM, was the first to create a patent marketplace on the blockchain. The introduction of NFTs will only help accelerate the opportunity for IP, which has been notoriously difficult to manage, value and transact, to be treated as a liquid asset. 

 


 

According to IPwe, many enterprises, governments, universities and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) around the world are already using their technology, including the IPwe Platform and the IPwe Registry and Global Patent Marketplace. For SMEs in particular, representing patents as digital assets is especially powerful because it allows IP to be treated as collateral or assurance of an organization’s value, also allowing it to be more easily leveraged when seeking funding. The IPwe Registry collects current, active and historical patent records in a single freely accessible registry with enhanced search enabled by IBM AI. A broader ecosystem including financial institutions, insurers, enterprises and other patent stakeholders are planned in the coming months to support the use and exchange of tokenized patents using these new technologies.

IBM and IPwe have worked together for the last three years applying IBM’s deep expertise in blockchain and artificial intelligence to the IPwe Platform to help protect ownership information; generate patent and portfolio analytics; facilitate transactions; reporting and advancements of the next intelligent generation of patent pooling – an agreement among multiple patent holders to jointly license their IP. 

 


 

“IBM has a long history of leadership in intellectual property and the application of AI and blockchain in business. Our work with IPwe is another example of our collaboration with leading innovators to drive outcomes powered by blockchain capabilities and digital assets that have the potential to transform entire industries,” said Jason Kelley, General Manager, Global Strategic Partnerships, IBM Services. “As businesses increasingly look to transform how they work with intelligent workflows, blockchain technology is a critical tool to increase transparency and reduce barriers.”

 

Press Contact
Mia Mixan
Corporate Marketing
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