Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The End of a Patent Dynasty, IBM has been Dethroned

IBM is no longer King of the Patent World! 
Samsung now reigns supreme.

US Patents for 2016 by Fortune by IFI Claims Patent Services. IBM #1 with 8,052 patents issued. Samsung Electronics Co Lmt with 5,518. But, a better measure would have IBM coming in second in 2016, and even in 2015!... 

The other approach that consolidates related companies here, or more directly from Sqoop here.   IBM #2 when Samsung has more patents collectively with 8,551 issued in 2016.
In terms of patent applications, 

In terms of patent applications, Samsung really beats out IBM:
  • Samsung -- 10,695
  • International Business Machines Corporation -- 8,800
Samsung is way ahead of #2 Microsoft in Design Patents with ~1,500 vs. ~500. IBM is not in to the top 40 in terms of US design patents (as would be expected for the type of products (services, really) that they produce.

Wow, no 25 year run for IBM. A questionable 24 year run through 2016. And arguably, not even a 23 year.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Tech Startup IPOs Better with Big Blue Patents

The Strategic Business Planning Company has long championed an aggressive  approach by startup companies that centers on obtaining a patent(s) on a new product/service at or near the time of market entry to offer unique value and competitive protection.  Very young companies need funding.  Venture capitalists are a major source of funding and, according to a study by the University of California Berkeley Law School, “many investors place a premium on patents when making investment decisions.  In fact, 67% of firms surveyed indicated that the existence of patents were an important factor in their investment decisions… proving that it doesn’t matter what industry you are in a significant percentage of VCs place a premium of patents when making investment decisions.”  (“Why Patents Matter for Job Creation and Economic Growth,” Gene Quinn, IP Watchdog) [For additional confirmation, see Shark Tank]

There are other compelling reasons why patents are important.  A paper entitled “The Bright Side of Patents” sites the economic benefits that patents bring to start-up businesses. Joan Farre-Mensa of Harvard, Alexander Liunggvist and Deepak Hedge of NYU studied all first-time patent applications filed at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPRO) by start-ups from 2001- 2013, 45,819 in total.  They concluded that patent approvals help startups create jobs and succeed.  Key points from the research:
  • The first patent application increases a company’s employment growth over the next five years by 36%.  The effect on sales growth – a 51% increase – is even larger.
  • Approval of a patent application increases a start-up’s probability of securing VC funding  by 53% over companies without patents.
  • Patents more than double the likelihood that a start-up is eventually listed on a stock exchange.
  To make your market introduction positioning even stronger, buy some patents from IBM before your IPO as described in this blog post from iam-media.com:  http://www.iam-media.com/Blog/Detail.aspx?g=e5b4517b-6c86-4932-8451-6bb110c6b011.  Banks, in addition to venture capitalists, look favorably on tech startups that have a patent portfolio from Big Blue which has sold 15,000 patents since 1991.

IBM has been the leader in annual patent procurement for years and years.  But, even in Big Blue, not all patents can be commercialized and many other patents are not consistent with its marketing strategies.  For these reasons and, it turns out, for tax benefits, the company puts many patents on the market to supplement its licensing royalties.

When your IP gets the boot, AAPL boots IMG

Imagination Technologies (IMG) dropped about 70% over the last day or so as Apple says that they will no use IMG's graphics processing (GPU) technology much longer. The stock dropped from a high of about $300 US to a low of $76. It dropped $180 in today's trading, stabilizing at about $90. You might have an issue when the largest company in the world says they don't intent to buy your products much longer, especially if they are your largest customer.

Read about it here.

Apple says that they will take other approached to get their graphics. IMG says that will be hard to do with their intellectual property protection.

IMG is very similar to ARM Holding who makes the technology, not the products. But last year ARM got gobbled up by SoftBank (which owns Sprint), so Great Britain is becoming even less great the day or so after BrExit (wondering if any relation there). IPZine blogged about ARM holdings not holding out here.

Yes, intellectual property will be an interesting problem for the UK as they work out the divorce agreement(s) with the EU.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Happy Days are near, but yet so far away, for Generic Viagra

The discussion on when pharma patents expire is often long and tortuous.
The the ED world of Viagra and Cialis we discuss the 2017 patent cliff here.
True, Cialis patent(s) expire in 2017, so it is reasonable to expect the influx of generics soon... Here's a list of patents related to Cialis. Note that there are a lot of patents listed that go all the way to 2020.

Here is a great discussion about the expiration of Phara patents related to Viagra. One of the main patents in viagra falls into the 1995 rule where the expiration date is computed based on the longer of the old method (17 years from issue) and the new method (20 years from first filing date). The 20 years method would be long gone. It probably took Pfizer some very fancy footwork to delay issue of the Viagra patent for almost 10 years from first filing, so the 17 years method computes longest and works best for Viagra. Plus, they got a term extension, so the patent doesn't expire until April of 2020.

But generic Viagra. A settlement with the giant of generics, Teva, allows Teva to sell a generic version of Viagra starting in December of 2017. But Teva must pay royalties to Pfizer. Pfizer recently raised prices, presumably to game this whole competition thing ensuing in 2017.

Levitra faces expiration of patents in 2018.

Great discussion on all these ED drugs is here at AccessRX.

Of course you could use another drug that is "a rose by another name": Revatio. Consumer Reports on Revatiois not in the business of making medical advised, but they suggest the the Revatio blood pressure drug might possibly work in the same way as Viagra since is contains the same active ingredient (sildenafil)

There is also a move to try to make the ED drugs an over-the-counter thing. Hmmm.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Good News Story from an Unexpected Source

Here at IAM-Media is an example of using patents to secure products in a global market.
Its full strategic management of its 200 patents included creating barriers to entry  and to transform the antenna industry.  This approach does not take place overnight, more than a decade.  The company began initially with patent protected product sales which was quite successful.  Well into the market adoption,  Fractus concluded that licensing for royalties was the best option for the future.  It resulted in over $100m in royalties.

Fractus also dealt with infringements by major companies and had to be helped by the Spanish courts.  Overall, a good news story about the patent commercialization success of a small company.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Scenarios Now and the Genius (hidden) within Crowd via ScenarioPlans.com

On a sister site, there is a discussion by DelphiMan about the state of scenario planning today, and some new research on ways to squeeze out the genius among laypeople crowds: Scenarios Now and the Genius (hidden) within Crowd,
Check it out here on ScenarioPlans.com (or DelphiPlan.com).
First, a McKinsey study showed that CEOs really wished that they had done more scenario planning after the great recession. Before, really. But, now with almost 10 years in the rear-view mirror, it seems likely the idea of such vigilant planning for a flexible future has waned.
In the meanwhile, the genius of  crowds can still be used very effectively using a Delphi Method approach to capture the expertise of experts (or informed people).
A very interesting new study used a crowd of laypeople. Even when the crowd is, on average, misinformed, it is possible to identify those people who are really informed and correctly assess the truth.
This reminds me, but in reverse, of a Lee Iacocca story when he was at Ford (prior to the turn-around at Chrysler). They surveyed people in upscale communities to see if they would like to buy the new Ford sports kind of car being developed including a convertible version. The answer was, unequivocally, NO!.  Lee sent his team back into the suburbs to ask again. But this time the question was two part: "Would you buy this car?" NO. Would your neighbor buy this car?" Absolutely YES!
The Ford Mustang took the market by stampede!....

"We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems." 
Lee Iacocca ... from BrainyQuote.com 

Friday, January 20, 2017

XGame Innovation in Carbon Capture

Look at the great innovations up in Canada in the CCS xGames.

Checkout the blog at SustainZine related to this very cool competition: http://sustainzine.blogspot.com/2017/01/co2-xgame-winners-in-canada-losers-in.html

Here's some info on this big competition in Canada: CBC News discusses competition sponsored by Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance and U.S. company NRG.

Normally you think of Carbon Capture & Sequester as a dead cost. Take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere (maybe at a smoke stack where it is highly concentrated, and pump it down into caverns, maybe where the coal or oil came from. But CO2 is a valuable and sell-able byproduct. Think about the fizz in your pop.

Maybe innovation like this Carbon XGame contestants have demonstrated, might allow us to burn all the oil and coal in the world without impunity. Maybe if we all hold our breath (one way to reduce CO2), the impact of our non-sustainable ways will not come back to bite us in the proverbial butt.

SustainZine said: "That means the the job of the CCS might turn out to be far, far bigger in the future, as we try to burn up the last century or so of fossil fuels over the next hundred years.

We here at SustainZine consider "conservative" this way: The bestest, cheapest, cleanest gallon of gas is the one never extracted, never processed and never burned. The bestest, cheapest, cleanest tonne of coal is the one never extracted, never processed, and never burned (scrubbing or no scrubbing)."  

In the meanwhile, innovation is the engine that will keep providing options, long after the most obvious alternatives have been exhausted.