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More Patent Packages Sold in 2018 Than Any Other Market Year

More Patent Packages Sold in 2018 Than Any Other Market Year

“It’s simpler and cheaper to reject a patent for lack of worth that to research it for high quality.”

That is half 4 of a six-part collection on Richardson Oliver Insights’  2018 Patent Market Report.

When discussing potential patent purchases with consumers, we proceed our push to finish using the phrase “low high quality” to broadly characterize rejected patents. We frequently hear that there are junk, low high quality or weak patents on the patent market. Clearly, there are some patents that we will objectively agree are low high quality, simply as there are in most portfolios. Nevertheless, consumers with an environment friendly shopping for program ought to by no means check nearly all of patents for “high quality” metrics (e.g. enforceability) as a result of these exams are just too costly. Refined consumers create focused shopping for packages moderately than common ones. When shopping for, it is best to have a use case in thoughts and analyze the worth of the patents in that exact context. If you need patents to counter assert towards Qualcomm, don’t waste money and time evaluating clear power patents. The “high quality” of something in that know-how space is irrelevant.

Consumers additionally are likely to conflate high quality and worth when discussing packages. A package deal with no worth to you in your specific enterprise use ought to be rejected out of your shopping for program, however once more, this isn’t a touch upon the standard. It’s simpler and cheaper to reject a patent for lack of worth that to research it for high quality. Essentially, a well-run shopping for program has visibility into solely a small set of the obtainable packages available on the market; for the remainder of the packages, this system should not have any visibility into the standard of the packages as a result of the packages have been rejected earlier than any high quality metrics have been evaluated.

Based mostly on our knowledge, a small proportion of all packages available on the market will match an organization’s particular enterprise wants. We have now proposed that this extremely concentrated distribution of worth within the patent market is totally different for every purchaser and has a lognormal distribution, an extrapolation of Suzanne Harrison’s evaluation of a number of company patent portfolios in her e-book, Edison within the Boardroom.

Based mostly on this assumption, we created a tiered diligence course of, seen in Determine 11, to spotlight the significance of eliminating ill-fitting packages shortly.

Course of

The aim of this course of is to determine the 1% to 2% of patents with excessive worth to a specific purchaser’s enterprise wants–the skinny sliver of inexperienced within the furthest left column of Determine 11. The primary diligence stage checks the package deal for basic know-how match (eg automotive security methods). Your complete brokered patent market is subjected to the check, and the bulk will fail. The world in stage 1 with a purple X signifies a big a part of the market that’s instantly eradicated. Patents falling into the world with the examine transfer on to the subsequent stage of diligence and might be seen expanded within the stage 2 column. Stage 2 exams if the know-how described is one thing of particular curiosity to the shopper (eg comply with distance and automated braking). As a way to keep away from falling into an costly high quality evaluation, at this stage consumers ought to ask themselves the next, “If I assume that the patent is ideal, would I truly need to purchase it?” The reply is “no” about 70% of the time. Once more, the world with the verify strikes to the subsequent diligence stage.

The method continues with a number of diligence phases and two extra rounds of diligence. High quality evaluation doesn’t enter the method in any respect till this level, after most packages have been eradicated. Stage three consists of cheap checks resembling remaining lifetime of the patents, bid due dates and pricing to get rid of much more packages. Lastly, in stage four, costly diligence is utilized to round three% of the general market.

Desk four exhibits the precise causes that our shoppers gave for passing on packages when utilizing the diligence course of described above. Earlier than we current a package deal to our shoppers, we carry out the stage 1 and a few of the stage 2 evaluation from Determine 11 and solely current packages with know-how matches and matching the shopper’s particular shopping for programme metrics. Subsequently, for our shoppers, the diligence course of begins in stage 2.

Assuming that a package deal passes by means of the preliminary know-how filtering, the primary purpose for passing on a package deal within the subsequent stage is that it doesn’t match the shopper’s particular shopping for standards (56%; 25% final yr). These shopping for standards are often elements such at least requirement for years of remaining life, a selected group of unlicensed corporations, or a requirement for a German counterpart. This kind of standards might be utilized as a light-weight diligence step and could be carried out with fewer assets than later levels. The subsequent two causes for passing require a bit extra diligence. “Proof of use (EOU) fails to map correctly” (15%) requires the guide assessment of declare charts. “Precise market adoption is just too small” (14%) requires evaluating the market adoption of the applied sciences described within the listed packages and confirming they weren’t broadly adopted. These two classes, together with “unresolved prosecution considerations” and “unresolved prior artwork,” are the costliest diligence classes. They account for about 30% of the failed diligence at this later diligence stage, however as a result of they’re utilized on the finish of the filtering course of, they’re solely carried out on 5% of the packages available on the market. Many packages could be filtered out earlier than our shoppers even see the belongings. This protects money and time within the diligence course of.

In case you are a brand new purchaser, you may need thought that pricing or the timing of bids would trigger lots of points. Nevertheless, these elements not often trigger issues. Pricing tends to be extra rational, particularly when a dealer is concerned. Moreover, the market continues to be comparatively thinly traded so though there is a bonus to bidding and shutting early, early bidding is just not essential to success (it’s a good follow). Consumers know that the worth and due dates are sometimes not agency and that good communication on each side may also help right here.

Gross sales

The variety of transactions continues to develop. We tracked extra transactions final yr, 191 packages bought, than we now have seen in any earlier market yr. Within the 2017 market yr, 125 packages transacted, and our earlier high-water mark was 2015, with 160 packages transacted. Moreover, we see gross sales of older packages exceeding our projections. For instance, we’re nonetheless seeing gross sales from packages listed in 2012—30% of the asset’s lives are over, and they’re now simply promoting. Usually, extremely sought-after packages transfer quick, adopted by an extended tail of further gross sales. As a vendor, endurance can repay.

We started monitoring gross sales so as to keep away from presenting bought offers to our shoppers. We wrote code to parse the USPTO task knowledge and to determine offers that have been not available on the market. This permits us to research what was promoting and who purchased it. Our methodology considers a package deal to have bought if no less than one patent in that package deal is discovered to have an task akin to a sale. We then use the execution date of task for the earliest transacted patent within the package deal because the date of the sale (knowledge is restricted to packages acquired by Might 31, 2018 and to gross sales recorded with the USPTO by August 15, 2018). When discussing gross sales, we change to a special knowledge set, which incorporates three,251 packages with 797 recognized gross sales and is measured on a calendar yr foundation. This pattern set consists of packages that have been analyzed in our earlier papers and goes again to packages listed as early as 2011.

Our gross sales fee for 2017 listings inside a yr of itemizing presently stands at 13.9%, which is larger than final yr’s fee of 10.three% for a similar relative timeframe. Each the variety of gross sales from 2017 calendar listings and the variety of gross sales no matter itemizing yr are up from final yr’s knowledge. Taking this under consideration, we predict the gross sales charges of 2017 listings to be greater than the charges noticed for 2016 (Determine 12). We estimate that, for 2017 listings, the gross sales fee for packages available on the market for one yr will probably be roughly 15%. We additionally created a projection of the longer term gross sales for 2017 listings for a further two years. Moreover, we noticed older gross sales that we had not predicted. A further zero.54% of packages listed in 2014 bought this previous yr, and some packages bought from earlier years. This means that consumers are reviewing a again catalogue of offers as their shopping for wants change. The power to do this can be a signal of sophistication and a very good signal for the market as an entire.

Please notice that, because of the time to sale, all gross sales knowledge lags behind the listings market by 18 months (and probably longer). That is the rationale for why we focus our gross sales fee evaluation on packages listed in 2017 and never 2018 listings.

Gross sales by Package deal Measurement

We analyzed the gross sales price based mostly on the dimensions of the package deal listed and located excluding a spike in gross sales amongst packages within the 2-5 asset vary, the bigger the package deal, the extra probably it was to have bought (see Desk 5). The gross sales identification methodology skews in the direction of figuring out gross sales of bigger packages as a result of if any asset within the package deal sells, the package deal is taken into account bought. This yr, the gross sales fee of packages correlates to the package deal sizes extra so than different years. This suggests that cherry choosing belongings from bigger packages is probably going occurring extra typically. Nevertheless, if package deal measurement was the one driving issue, the gross sales charges ought to be a lot greater for giant packages. A package deal with 50 belongings is nowhere close to 50 occasions as more likely to promote as a person asset package deal; subsequently, consumers are nonetheless usually specializing in belongings in smaller packages. Utilizing this framework, packages within the 2 to five asset vary proceed to promote extraordinarily nicely, with the speed of 11% (similar as final yr).

Gross sales by Receipt Date

When shopping for a package deal, it is a bonus to maneuver shortly. We all know that company selections embrace plenty of sign-offs, which take time. So, how briskly do you want to be? We analyzed how shortly the bought packages listed within the 2017 calendar yr transacted with a purpose to estimate how a lot time consumers should bid. We could also be hitting the restrict of how briskly corporations can fairly supply, carry out due diligence, and negotiate a deal, however consumers have been capable of improve their velocity barely over final yr. Determine 13 exhibits that 80% of the gross sales from that for 2017 listings occurred between six and 7 months from the receipt date of the package deal (down from simply over eight months final yr). However the quickest movers weren’t capable of decide up the tempo; round 44% of the packages bought within the first 4 months (up from 40%). Accelerated decision-making continues to be a bonus. Whether it is attainable, getting a finances for patent buy pre-approved by the board will help you to purchase shortly and get entry to the widest number of packages.

The numbers above solely take a look at 2017 calendar yr listings, which have had at most 18-months available on the market. As time strikes on, and extra packages promote, the earliest gross sales will definitionally make up a decrease proportion of the full gross sales. Once we take a look at an older dataset, 2014 listings, we see that 58% of the gross sales happen within the first yr. Whereas shifting quick continues to be essential, there’s additionally an extended tail of later gross sales displaying that a sluggish trickle of gross sales exists for years after packages are listed. As shopping for packages turn out to be extra refined, and as extra instruments are used to research the market, the better it turns into to behave quick on the time and to re-examine packages when shopping for standards modifications. A fast flurry of shopping for and assessment happens on new packages, adopted by a slower second wave of gross sales beginning round 18 months after itemizing.

Gross sales by EOU Offered

This yr, we continued to see an elevated gross sales price for packages which have a seller-provided EOU: packages listed within the 2017 calendar yr with EOUs have been 51% extra more likely to promote than packages with out. We hear consumers say that the dealer EOU just isn’t useful, however the knowledge suggests in any other case. It acts as a actuality verify that the know-how is adopted. These EOUs additionally act as a information, directing potential consumers to the worth drivers, and figuring out the relevant know-how and product market. By combining the elevated probability of a sale and the 43% gross sales worth premium related to EOUs, the anticipated worth of a package deal with an EOU is 116% larger.

Life after Alice

Alice-affected software program and monetary packages are again. As mentioned above, the costs rebounded, however the gross sales charges have additionally rebounded above the market common. As might be seen in Determine 14, packages from Alice-affected know-how classes listed in 2016 are 48% extra more likely to promote than packages within the general market. The development has continued to a lesser extent for 2017 listings, at 26% extra more likely to promote. Plainly the broader worry of Alice has subsided, however once we take a look at the tech space most probably to be affected—monetary know-how—it’s a little much less clear. Whereas monetary tech now has the very best asking costs, the gross sales charges range extensively; 2016 listings have been 60% extra more likely to promote, whereas 2017 listings have been 18% much less possible. We’ll proceed to watch this know-how space to see if a development emerges.





Kent Richardson

Kent Richardson

counsels shoppers on quite a lot of patent and enterprise issues together with patent shopping for, promoting, licensing, valuation, prosecution and operations. Kent has licensing and advertising patent portfolio experiences leading to greater than $600M of patent license bookings. Kent has served as an skilled witness on patent monetization and licensing practices in instances in England and america. Previous to founding the ROL Group, Kent was the Common Supervisor of ThinkFire Providers USA, Ltd’s Silicon Valley workplace. Kent has labored in numerous senior administration roles with such progress companies as Sezmi, Constellation Capital, Rambus, Numerical Applied sciences. Kent is a member of the California Bar and a United States Patent and Trademark Workplace registered patent lawyer, and holds 5 US patents.

Contact Kent by way of e-mail at, or the Web at Richardson Oliver Regulation Group.

Kent Richardson

Erik Oliver

counsels shoppers on patent, licensing and trademark issues. He brings greater than ten years of patent prosecution, litigation, and licensing expertise and a monitor report of tens of millions of dollars in each patent and know-how licensing offers. Previous to founding the ROL Group, Erik was a Vice President at ThinkFire Providers USA, Ltd’s Silicon Valley workplace. Erik has held numerous senior positions with a variety of duties at Rambus Inc., Synopsys, Inc., and a lot of Silicon Valley startups. Erik is a member of the California and District of Columbia Bar and a United States Patent and Trademark Workplace registered patent lawyer.

You’ll be able to attain Erik by way of e-mail at, or on the Web at Richardson Oliver Regulation Group.

Kent Richardson

Michael Costa

acts because the ROL Group’s monetary, engineering, and market analyst. His background in engineering and consulting permit him to convey a mix of enterprise information and technological understanding to our shoppers. Previous to becoming a member of the ROL Group, Michael labored as an unbiased monetary and technique marketing consultant for Silicon Valley startups. He has helped corporations analyze their enterprise and know-how alternatives in crowdfunding, cellular advertizing, house automation, inexperienced methods and energy administration, InGaAs semiconductors, and digital sign processing.

You’ll be able to contact Michael by way of e-mail at, or by way of Web at Richardson Oliver Regulation Group.

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