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
Head of Marketing
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