The United States Supreme Court issued a 7-2 decision in WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., regarding a patent owner’s ability to recover lost foreign profits for US patent infringement damages. This ruling is a major blow to Parties seeking to evade US patent. It reinforces the strength of the US patent system by aligning foreign lost profit damages with the definition of infringement, which includes the act of supplying components of patented invention that were intended to be incorporated into a device in a manner than would trigger liability as an infringer, had the acts been committed in the US. As stated by the Court: “The damages themselves are merely the means by which the statute achieves its end of remedying infringements, and the overseas events giving rise to the lost-profit damages here were merely incidental to the infringement.”
The Court’s opinion that the overseas events were merely incidental to the infringement is a common-sense approach that will prevent future bad-faith actors from leveraging the US patent system to their benefit, while at the same time seeking to shield themselves from its reach through the intentional act of exporting the infringement. When infringement can be proven, there necessarily must be infringement within the territorial reach of the US patent laws. The damaged party is allowed to recover damages, including lost profits, that are adequate to compensate for infringement and the Court has determined that the recovery of lost profits is not limited to domestic lost profits. The expansion of lost profits to include foreign lost profits enhances the ability of a patent owner to recover the appropriate amount damages that would make them whole, without artificially excluding foreign lost profit damages from the pool of available damages. It’s economic justice.
** Foresight’s commentary to WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical, along with the commentary of other industry leaders, was published by IPWatchdog.
The global enthusiasm surrounding the ecosystem known as the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) has positioned data as one of the most valuable assets that a company can own and monetize. According to IDC, the worldwide market for IoT applications (intelligent and embedded systems, connectivity and security services, infrastructure services and platforms) reached $1.9 trillion last year, and is expected to more than triple to $7.1 trillion by 2020.
The valuation of technologies in the emerging IoT ecosystem will largely depend on the revenue models around data monetization through control of he IoT data value chain. It is becoming clear that controlling the data value chain from the point of data collection to the point of data analytics is key to unlocking these value creation opportunities. Hence, companies proceed through acquisitions to get better control over the value chain. Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Labs, followed by the recently announced $555 million acquisition of Dropcam, granted Google access to home data collection endpoints through Nest’s growing inventory of home automation devices and Dropcam’s home security cameras.
There are several areas where IoT data analytics can increase original equipment manufacturer (OEM) profitability and create new revenue opportunities, including longer asset uptime, enhanced customer experience and reduction in maintenance and service costs. As seen from GE’s launch of its Industrial Internet platforms in 2012 to airlines, energy companies, hospitals and other industry segments, there are some interesting opportunities related to the value creation associated with data in the IoT ecosystem. These opportunities exist not only in the industrial space, but also in consumer-facing IoT applications such as home automation and wearables, as well as in industries such as agriculture.
Putting privacy and security concerns aside, data represents the promise of new economic benefits that are only possible when big data is leveraged in big ways.
To read the full blog, published on IAM Magazine, click here.
An IP Valuation Case Study (Part 1 of 2)