22 Oct’14
Big Tech winning battle with 'patent trolls'

Big Tech winning battle with ‘patent trolls’

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For two decades, companies that buy software patents to sue technology giants have been the scourge of Silicon Valley. Reviled as patent trolls, they have attacked everything from Google’s online ads to Apple’s iPhone features, sometimes winning hundreds of millions of dollars.

But now the trolls are in retreat from the tech titans, interviews and data reviewed by Reuters show.

In the wake of several changes in U.S. law, which make it easier to challenge software patents, patent prices are plummeting, the number of court fights is down, and stock prices of many patent-holding companies have fallen. Some tech firms say they are punching up research budgets as legal costs shrink, while support for major patent reform is under fire as trolls get trounced.

“Their entire business model relies on intimidation, and that has lost its edge,” said Efrat Kasznik, president of intellectual property consulting firm Foresight Valuation Group. “If the patents are not enforceable in court anymore… the troll has no legs to stand on.”

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01 Oct’14

Could the SEC require companies to value their patent portfolios?

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Efrat Kasznik Foresight ValuationThe need to value patent portfolios may be even greater after the Supreme Court’s decision in the Alice case.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may require more transparency among public companies when it comes to valuing their patent portfolios.

Now, such portfolios generally do not have to be formally valued and reported to interested parties. But given the push for increased transparency, such as at the SEC, and the desire by investors to know more about the companies in which they invest there could be more guidelines or formal requirements forthcoming. Continue reading

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