Efrat Kasznik (pictured right) is an intellectual property valuation expert who has close to 20 years of consulting experience. Kasznik, who is President of Foresight Valuation Group, works with clients by helping them evaluate, protect and ultimately commercialize intangible assets. She specializes in performing valuations and valuations of intangible assets for financial reporting, tax compliance, transfer pricing, litigation damages and business liquidations.
I was first introduced to Kasznik several months ago when I was trying to determine whether publicly traded corporations had an obligation to write down their patent portfolios and notify shareholders of the diminished value in the wake of the disastrous Supreme Court decision in Alice v. CLS Bank, which rendered many tens of thousands of software patents (if not more) worthless, or at a minimum worth far less. Ultimately Kasznik wrote The Impact of the Alice Decision on Corporate Assets.
Recently I learned that Kasznik has embarked upon a new initiative whereby she will begin working with high-tech start-up companies much earlier in their lifecycle. In our conversations leading up to this interview she explained to me that she sees start-ups make so many mistakes with their IP that by the time they have traditionally sought her business/valuation assistance there is little that can be done at time to salvage what was otherwise protectable IP. With this in mind I thought it would make an interesting conversation to talk with her about the mistakes she sees, the patent market in general and what she hopes to do to help start-ups moving forward.
Without further ado, Click here to read my conversation with Efrat Kasznik.
New patent laws in the U.S., the long backlog at the patent office, as well as the increased risk of patent litigation, make it absolutely critical for a startup to start building its intellectual property (IP) portfolio as early as possible.
Unfortunately in our startup advisory practice, we repeatedly see startups come to us after they have mismanaged their IP strategy, either as a result of ignorance about the process or as a result of miscommunications with their patent lawyers.
Many entrepreneurs are also getting misleading advice from investors and other Silicon Valley influencers who are misinformed about the basics of IP strategy. The implications of embracing the wrong IP advice can be devastating to startup valuations and successful exits. Read Full Article
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.”
The 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