June 28, 2017
Lex Machina has released a report showing the impacts of PTAB after it was first introduced as part of the America Invents Act. The idea was that PTAB would be the mechanism by which granted patents could have their patentability challenged by a third party. IAM quote the statistics, with settlements coming out as the most common outcome (30%), and that all claims are found unpatentable 20% of the time. Given that killing the patent is one of the few ways to effectively threaten an NPE’s business when hit with a demand letter, it should come as no surprise that the top petitioners are the big names in tech, including Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft, and that the top patent owners being petitioned against include big name NPEs, like Intellectual Ventures, Finjan, VirnetX and Smartflash to name but a few.
Why it Matters?
The sheer volume of cases taken through to PTAB shows how in the years since its introduction, it has rapidly become an integral part of an IP strategy, as it has provided defendants with the means to attack the patents being held up against them.
As AI looks set to disrupt as many aspects of industries as it can touch, with the machines self-optimising and managing, IP looks set to be no exception. This is especially obvious when one considers the debate that raged when a photographer’s camera was operated by a Macaque. The ensuing dispute centered around how the photo published without permission on the grounds the monkey has the IP rights and the case went to court before it was deemed to be the camera owner’s IP after all. In AI cases, it will be up to the IP system to adjust its framework as machines become more creative, in order to account for machine-ownership issues, as well as the job of the owners of the AI system to write it into contracts where possible to make it clear who gets ownership of the IP. IP Watchdog has outlined some of these issues, which center around assigning ownership of machine-created content (Machine? Programmer? Person that reviewed the output?) and the subsequent difficulties in identifying the entity that created it.
Why It’s Interesting
With AI becoming more prevalent, the rules of authorship will need amending, and corporate policies will need to be set in the contracts with regards to who owns the IP created, at least in part, by the AI system. Does it belong to whoever trained the system? To the authors of the code in the first place? IP will be yet another way the world will change when AI becomes mainstream.
Amazon has big plans for drone-based delivery, but they appear to be hedging their bets regarding the best methods for loading up drones with cargo at a base before going out for delivery, as well as the drones subsequently coming back to roost. We previously reported on their flying warehouse concept, where an airship loaded up with Amazon goods would fly overhead in order to supply the drones with goods. Now Amazon has filed a patent for a drone-optimised ground-based warehouse, with the graphics showing a cylindrical building with drones flying out of openings all over it much like some insect nests. Lorries and staff can enter on the ground floor, and the drones can exit above them carrying the goods for delivery, making this a potentially very useful setup for drone delivery systems.
Why it Matters?
The fact that Amazon is filling the IP space with many possibilities for loading drones for delivery and storing the cargo ready for airborne shipment shows how serious they are about UAV deliveries, and they are keen to prevent others from getting ahead of them in this area.
LES Britain & Ireland’s IP Strategy Committee invite you to their Interactive Workshop “Innovation & IP through Growth, M&A and Exit”
Robin Walton from ClearViewIP will be presenting with our customer, Dr. Sam Decomble from FitnessGenes at Barker Brettell’s Birmingham office on July 13. The event will be an overview of the importance of IP protection and the various ways it can add value to your business.
ClearViewIP Consultants Prominent on the IAM Strategy 300 List
The IAM Strategy 300 celebrates the top talent in the intellectual property sector from around the globe. Research teams based in London, Hong Kong and Washington DC sort through thousands of candidates to choose those who have shown they possess ‘world class skills in the development and roll-out of strategies that maximise the value of patents, copyright, trademarks and other IP rights.’
For the seventh year in a row, ClearViewIP’s CEO Jon Calvert has been selected to the list. He is joined on this year’s list by fellow director Josue Ortiz and managing consultant Peter Spours, both of whom have made the list for the past three years, as well as director Benoit Geurts, who is new to the IAM list.
ClearViewIP will be attending Tech Open Air Berlin July 13 and 14. We look forward to meeting many innovative people and companies while we’re there.