IP Recap #36

September 7, 2017


Craft Beer 

Putting the IP in IPA

IP in craft beer

The Story

The craft beer boom in the UK has led to a dramatic increase in the number of breweries. The number of microbreweries is exploding, with literally hundreds opening in just this past year. This increase has not only brought us more varieties of beer but has also had a visible effect at the IPO, with a corresponding boom in the number of trademark applications. 2016 saw double the number of craft beer registrations seen as recently as 2007, illustrating just how many new beers are coming to the market.

With IP comes disputes, and brewers will have to be careful to not tread on anyone’s toes when naming their beers as well as keeping an eye out for infringers of their own trademarks. Brewdog has taken this a step further and attempted to stop a pub from using the same name as one of their beers.

Why it matters

High growth markets can cause a sudden influx of new products to the market, and keeping on top of the IP is important for producers wishing to avoid infringement accusations and therefore costly disputes and/or rebranding, as well as being important for keeping competitors off their own turf.

NPE Pays to Have Patent Case Terminated

That didn’t go as planned

Legal decision

The Story

NPEs are struggling to generate revenues like they used to. Their frivolous demand letters have been effectively killed off by the need to provide full evidence of infringement. However, the greatest monetisation struggle story heard yet is that of Wetro Lan when they tried to license Kaspersky Labs for a firewall patent. Kaspersky felt the patent had validity issues, as well as some genuine issues with the infringement case. Eventually, the settlement demands were reduced to nothing, at which point Kaspersky demanded money from the NPE in order that both parties drop their cases.

Why it Matters

The idea that a company can get a monetary settlement for a patent invalidity case against an NPE is quite something. Usually, companies prefer to pay a small settlement to make the problem go away. While the settlement was small, what is probably of greater value is the unusual victory they can now publicise and force NPEs to think twice before approaching them.

Tesla Continues Electric Conquest At Home

They just soldier on

Tesla patents paste to connect solar panels to wiring

The Story

A while ago Tesla announced their solar roof tiles to great aplomb. Previous solar roof solutions involve large panels which look nothing like a traditional tiled roof, whereas Tesla’s roof tiles have achieved a normal look while still generating power. Combined with a home energy storage device (which Tesla also produces), one could use all the solar power generated by the roof at home in the daytime to power their home the rest of the time.

An obvious extra complexity over installing a solar roof tile in place of a traditional one is that the power needs to get from the tiles to the house’s wiring. Tesla also has a solution for this, as revealed in a patent filing for a conductive paste. This would be a relatively simple way of connecting up a roof of solar tiles, without having to e.g. get a technician to solder and insulate every joint.

Why it Matters

With Tesla generating the interest, it is highly possible that manufacturers of other, less discreet solar roof solutions will benefit from the paste or even license the technology. If this could make it to market and influence the design of lower cost panels, this could reduce the substantial overheads of getting a solar roof in the first place and help spread green energy.

Upcoming Event

Predictive Analytics in R&D and IP Strategy Development

Discerning Trends and Identifying Opportunities Through Patent Portfolio and Document Analysis

Register for free here


Thursday, 21st September 2017
13.00 Registration
13.30-16.00 Presentations and Q&A
16.00-17.00 Networking & Drinks


Conversation Room
The Royal Institution
21 Albemarle Street
London W1S 4BS


Dr. Tatsuo Nakamura • VALUENEX, Founder, and CEO
Confirming M&A Sustainability by Analyzing Effective Investment Volumes with IP Synergy Indices

Jon Calvert • ClearViewIP, CEO
The Needs of Multinational Enterprises in Developing their Innovation Strategies as their Business Collides with IoT, AI and the Digital Economy – an IP and Technology Perspective

Takayoshi Hayashi • VALUENEX, Lead Analyst
A Technology Trend Analysis for R&D Strategy on iPS Cells: Case Study Analyzing Trend Differences based on Patents, Academic Papers, or NIH Grant Information

Dr. Lei Liu • VALUENEX, Consulting Team Manager
The Possibility of Technology Due Diligence Based on IP Panoramic View Analytics: Case Studies on M&A and Start-up Investment

Register for free here

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