Many start-up entrepreneurs think that patents are a waste of time; the data suggests otherwise

By Ian Maxwell I was recently asked why so many entrepreneurs and investors in the modern era appear to have no interest in patents and sometimes are actually quite negative on the value of patents in start-ups. So I did a ‘soft’ survey of a few entrepreneurs and investors in my home city of Sydney. […]

Is disintermediation of patent search on the horizon?

By Ian Maxwell Recently I had the opportunity to talk to Richard Jefferson, the CEO of Cambia, a not-for-profit (limited by guarantee) company operating out of the Queensland University of Technology. Over the last 22 years Cambia has received funding from various government and private organisations including the Gates Foundation, Moore Foundation and the USPTO. […]

The Future of the Innovation Patent System

In the context of the current review of the current Australian Innovation Patents System [i] By Ian A. Maxwell For a standard Australian patent to be granted, an invention must be amongst other things both novel and inventive. The test for novelty differs from one patent jurisdiction to another but has some universally common features. In […]

In Defense of Patent Trolls

By Ian Maxwell In this essay I will avoid using the term ‘Non-Practicing Entity’ because I am sick of hearing the ubiquitous ‘pejorative’ associated with the explanation of relationship between the terms ‘Non-Practicing Entities’ and ‘patent trolls’. Let’s just call a spade a spade – they are patent trolls. This is not to say that […]

Why Universities are the Worst Shareholders for Spin-out Companies

By Ian A. Maxwell This article is written in the context of the Australian environment but many of the conclusions are quite general. Background Over the last 20 years much more money has gone into global venture capital sectors than has come out. This unprofitable imbalance seems improbable and only exists because of the long […]

Corporate IP Strategy – a High-Level View

By Ian Maxwell There are two good strategic reasons why any operating company should have patents, and they both relate to financial return on investment: 1.             To use a monopoly, suggested or realized by patents, to get a higher margin and/or higher revenues for products or services, and 2.             For the value of the patents […]

IP Strategy for Startups

By Ian Maxwell Here are two very true statements A startup should have a patent portfolio Startups can rarely afford to properly invest in a patent portfolio With this fundamental paradox in mind, this article describes some of the options that startups have with respect to IP strategies that most effectively balance the costs and […]