Is a patent troll watching your business now?

By Ray Felts and David DiGiammarino You’re a venture capitalist. You just invested in a promising startup,  e-Widgets. The future looks bright. Suddenly, out of nowhere, e-Widgets gets a  certified letter in the mail. The letter claims that the company’s flagship  software is infringing on an existing patent. Instead of focusing on innovation  that e-Widgets […]

What Exactly Does Intellectual Ventures Do That Seems to Bother (Some) People?

By Neil Wilkof There are few companies in the IP firmament that attract as much as pro and con as Intellectual Ventures, here and here. Since its establishment more than a decade ago, this privately-held company has engaged in a combination of carrying out internal R&D, partnering with research entities and acquiring patent rights (apparently […]

Is Traction the New IP for Startups? Maybe Not for Yours.

By Jackie Hutter “Traction is the new IP.”  This emerging mantra results in many startup CEOs eschewing the traditional path of patent and other forms of IP protection.  While I am aware of no rigorous studies conducted to date, anecdotal information indicates that startup entrepreneurs are increasingly saying no to patents, and likely to other […]

3D printing and Intellectual Property – why are they a misfit?

By Joren De Wachter In my previous post at I explained how 3D printing affects the world of Intellectual Property (IP), and how this creates all kinds of problems for IP rights. In this blog I will expand a little bit on why that is the case, and whether something can be done about it. […]

Leading Brands Increasingly have the Most Valuable Patents

By Bruce Berman Patent portfolios associated with strong positive reputation appear to enjoy better performance, or so it seems. It is no coincidence that many of the world’s best known and most valuable brands have other IP traits in common: Their reputation for quality, innovation, and consistency not only facilitates product sales and shareholder interest, […]

Medical Product Developments and the Valley of Death

By Neil Wilkof It is called the “valley of death”. While the phrase may seem to conjure up the words of the 23rd Psalm written over two millennia ago (“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”), we are talking  about something that is very here and now—the financing of medical […]

Do Patents Matter? Lean Startups Should Ignore Expert Advice and Let Their Data Drive Patenting Decisions

By Jackie Hutter Many hold strong opinions on the value of patents to business.  Both in person and online, there are any number of “experts” who stridently insist that without patent protection, a company’s business goals are doomed.  With about 350,000 new patent applications filed in 2012, there is no question that many agree that […]

Troll slayer: Can Mark Cuban cure the U.S. patent system?

By Efrat Kasznik The inauguration of the “Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents” is a great  opportunity to take another look at the U.S. patent system, and how it fares  with startups and software companies. As appears from an email to the press, laced with statements such as: “Dumbass patents are crunching small businesses”, […]

The Pareto Principle and the Commercial World of Smartphone Apps

By Neil Wilkof I will admit: I am Pareto’s principal devotee. The basic idea that numerous phenomena can be characterized by the “notion of the vital few” will account for the lion’s share of something seems to resonate with my own anecdotal and analytical experience. Often referred to as the “80/20 rule” (such as “80% […]

Strategies for Negotiating Licenses

By David Wanetick You will never get the license agreement your technology deserves. You get the license agreement you negotiate. With this in mind, it is important for inventors, licensing professionals and intellectual property lawyers to constantly hone their negotiating skills. Below are some pertinent considerations. Stay Away from the Negotiating Table A general principle […]