Access practice tools, as well as industry leading news, customizable alerts, dockets, and primary content, including a comprehensive collection of case law, dockets, and regulations. Leverage...
Alphabet Inc.'s Google has sold patents for the first time in the domestic brokered patent market, according to data provided to Bloomberg Law by Richardson Oliver Law Group LLP.
Google listed a package of 207 U.S. and foreign patent assets on the brokered market in the second quarter of 2018, ROL’s data show. Lithium-ion battery maker Amperex Technology Ltd. bought nearly 140 battery-related U.S. patents from Google in June, according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office assignment records. The patents belonged to Motorola Mobility, which Google acquired in 2012 to shore up its patent portfolio, the records show.
Google has joined IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Nokia Corp, Sony Corp., AT&T Inc., Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., and other large operating companies in turning to the brokered patent market to trim their expansive patent portfolios. Patents come with costly renewal and maintenance costs, which push companies to unload patent assets that are no longer crucial to their operations.
“Google is signaling that it is selling patents,” ROL Group partner Kent Richardson said. “Balancing your portfolio when you get to be that size is an important element of managing your overall risk and expenses.”
Company-to-company patent sales with no middleman are effective when sellers have identified prospective buyers. The brokered patent market can help sellers find buyers when they don’t know who might be interested in their assets.
Direct patent deals are often confidential, and their details remain private. The brokered market can shed light on broader market trends even though it represents a small portion of overall patent sales between companies.
Listing patents on the brokered patent market means they are publicly available and may end up in the hands of a non-practicing entity, Richardson said.
Non-practicing entities, which don’t make products, earn revenue by licensing and litigating patents. Google and Canon Inc. in 2014 created a nonprofit group, the LOT Network, to combat threats from those entities. A LOT member agrees that if it sells patents to such firms, all group members receive a free license to the patents to shield them from litigation.
“Just like other companies with a sizable portfolio, Google constantly evaluates its patent portfolio to ensure that it is aligned with its business goals and corporate strategy,” a Google spokesperson said in an email. “As part of that effort, divesting assets is part of maintaining a healthy, quality portfolio, and Google will continue to divest assets as needed.”
Foreign companies continued to be top buyers in the domestic brokered patent market from April to June, ROL data show. The second quarter reflects “a noticeable increase in international buyers” from January to March, Richardson said.
Advanced Interconnect Systems Ltd., an Irish patent holding company, was the top patent buyer from April to June, ROL data show. The company purchased 233 U.S. and foreign patents, including digital imaging patents, from Seiko Epson Corp., the Japanese electronics maker that sold the most patents in the second quarter, ROL data and patent office records show.
Google also was among the top 10 buyers globally in the second quarter in a deal with 38 U.S. patents, according to ROL data. Google bought patents related to graphics processing and data networking from technology company Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., according to patent office records.
There were 4,252 new U.S. and international patent assets packaged in 154 deals during the second quarter, the data show. That’s up from 1,801 new assets that hit the market in the previous quarter, and more than three times the 1,382 new assets offered for sale in the second quarter of 2017, according to the data.
The median asking price per asset for both foreign and U.S.-issued patents listed by brokers was $83,330 in the first quarter, down 44 percent from the previous quarter and 33 percent from the second quarter of 2017, ROL data show.
Median asking price has continued to trend downwards from the first quarter of 2017, Richardson. That, combined with a few deals in the quarter with very low prices, led to the drop, he said.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)