Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

Patent Valuation Best Practices includes use of GTT Group’s CompDB™

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Global Technology Transfer Group Inc. (GTT Group) uses several methodologies when conducting patent valuations. The Comparable Transaction Database (CompDB™) is a foundational tool which is an integral part of our valuation practice.

CompDB is just one of several valuation approaches GTT Group when advising its clients. Valuation approaches include:

      Consensus Expert Valuation based on portfolio assessment (Patent Value Matrix™)
      Licensing Valuation based on latest Court decisions; and
      Comparable Transaction modeling (CompDB)

GTT Group’s CompDB is refreshed and monitored on a daily basis. Our subject matter and market analyst experts review new transaction data and conduct additional research which further refines the data set. Everything in the database is capable of being sorted by seller or buyer, by company, by technology, by price, and other critical data fields.

The patent market is opaque, not clear at all. It is tough to make patent valuation decisions with publicly traded companies where information is available and considered materially sufficient to mandate disclosure, but it is even more difficult to find data for privately held companies. GTT Group has been providing focus and clarity in the patent transaction marketplace for 18 years. We have been continuously gathering relevant data and have become a trust center for the market and our clients.

To find out more about CompDB and GTT Group’s other patent valuation approaches, please contact GTT Group.

Global Technology Transfer Group, Inc. (GTT Group) Announces Availability of the 2014 Annual Patent Deal Review

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Global Technology Transfer Group, Inc. (GTT Group) announces the 2014 GTT Group Annual Patent Deal Review, which summarizes the patent transaction activities of major market participants during the year. The 2014 Annual Patent Deal Review is a complimentary report that summarizes the year in total and latest market trends including GTT Group’s PMI® and PLI® market leading indices.

The GTT Group Annual Patent Deal Review analyzes patent transaction data to identify the top dealmakers along with highlighting the most notable patent transactions that occurred during 2014.

“The markets have becoming increasingly selective and high value strategic assets are the cornerstone of the patent transaction marketplace,” said Michael Lubitz, CEO and Chairman of GTT Group. “A spattering of decisions related to patent value and eligible subject matter have necessitated that patent professionals reexamine existing best practices. 2015 represents a transition year for the marketplace.”

GTT Group’s data harvesting efforts include identifying and analyzing patent deals. This information is used by GTT Group to provide comparable valuations, patent acquisition and divestment strategies for GTT Group clients. The original data is sorted and analyzed through proprietary systems and software developed by GTT Group for the specific purpose of patent transaction market analysis.

All GTT Group clients and Patent Transaction Market Report subscribers receive a copy of the 2014 GTT Group Annual Patent Deal Review. Contact GTT Group to receive a complimentary copy of the Annual Patent Deal Review for 2014.

Download Full Press Release

GTT Group, Inc. Releases the 2015 Winter Report on Patent Value

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Global Technology Transfer Group, Inc. (GTT Group), the world leader in patent transaction advisory services, releases the Winter 2015 Report: Patent Value.

The GTT Group Winter 2015 Report on Patent Value outlines recent market realities facing patent valuation, including current risks and considerations that should be taken by any patent professional. This Winter Report is intended as a primer regarding patent value considerations in light of recent court decisions and patent reform legislation. Patent valuation methodologies have been under intense scrutiny, especially as those methodologies are applied to standard related patents and commercially important feature patents.

“GTT Group wanted to lend additional clarity to the patent value discussion,” states Michael Lubitz, CEO and Chairman of GTT Group. “Within the patent monetization and patent business strategy context, assessing patent value based on new realities will be critical to positive outcomes whether in a divestiture or licensing scenario. The great disconnect has always been around value, now there is some new lucidity that parties should take advantage of when making patent business decisions.”

The report highlights the monetization risks that need to be considered in the current patent marketplace. The impact that recent court rulings have had on patent validity and patent value is crucial to making the best patent related business decision. The Winter Report explores:

  • Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) obligations for standards essential patents,
  • as well as component and royalty rate apportionment considerations.

 

The Winter Report also discusses how key patent decisions have altered the value of certain patents in the marketplace:

  • Apple v. Motorola
  • Microsoft v. Motorola
  • Ericsson v. D-Link
  • Alice Corp v. CLS Bank

 

GTT Group publishes the quarterly Patent Transaction Market Report (PTMR), which includes the Patent Market Index (PMI®), tracking patent transaction activity and patent marketplace trends, and the Patent Licensing Index (PLI®), tracking activity among publicly traded patent licensing companies to provide comparative performance indicators. The 2014 Annual Deal Review will become available in February 2015, reviewing the overall trends of 2014 and the deal leaders.

Download Full Press Release

Fundamental Electronic Marketplace Patent Portfolio

Monday, October 26th, 2009

GTT commenced marketing an essential patent portfolio related to electronic commerce. The invention describes an e-commerce solution that incorporates remote data access and product catalog templates into an on-demand electronic marketplace tool. These solutions are also known as SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service.

The broad applicability of these patents to electronic marketplace platforms makes this a very attractive acquisition opportunity.

If you would like to receive material about the “Electronic Marketplace Patent,” please contact Andrew Godsey at: agodsey@gttgrp.com.

Interactive Voice Response Portfolio

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Portfolio Available!

GTT announces the availability of a fundamental patent asset in the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) space. The patented technology comprises an essential element within call-based authentication systems. The invention details a method by which a provider is able to manage subscriber access to a fee-based service and is used in many interactive voice response (IVR) platforms. GTT has uncovered substantial use of this patented technology in the IVR and customer service provider segments.

Automated call and authentication systems are a vital element of many customer service programs. This patent covers technologies that enable access to restricted content by verifying a subscriber’s qualifying information. In one embodiment, the subscriber qualifies for the restricted service by entering credit card information. The 1995 priority date places this patent well ahead of other industry inventions.

“We are pleased to be able to offer this select asset acquisition opportunity,” states Michael Lubitz, CEO and Chairman of GTT.



GTT is currently entertaining acquisition offers. To receive additional information regarding this opportunity, please contact Dan Buri at dburi@gttgrp.com. All inquiries will be kept strictly confidential.

Patent Valuation – Quantitative Approaches

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Andrew Godsey, VP Sales

Microsoft’s corporate VP of Intellectual Property Group, Horacio Gutierrez, recently announced that Microsoft is building a patent valuation tool. A recent article in IDG Connect highlights an interview with Gutierrez in which he reveals that the inspiration to build a patent pricing model came from reading the book “Moneyball.” (Moneyball outlines the approach of Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane that is now infamous in the world of baseball. Beane has used a quantitative approach, rather than the historically accepted qualitative approach, to analyzing baseball players in order to get the most bang for his buck under a limited operating budget). As Guitierrez explains in the interview:

“While everybody was going through the discussion of talent selection the way they traditionally do it, which was with the old scouts who’ve been around the business for 50 years or so, saying ‘This kid’s got a good arm,’ ‘He looks like a ballplayer,’ and ‘He’s got a cannon,’ and all of these qualitative things, they started to have people come in and start to crunch numbers and realized that a lot of the things they were measuring, and taking as measures of success, were the wrong things”

He goes on to say:

“They came up with a whole different framework and started to come in and acquire a number of players that were under-appreciated by everybody else, but based on the metrics that, according to them, mattered, they were incredibly valuable. So, for many years the Oakland A’s have been able to have a fraction of the budget of the Yankees and yet consistently make it to the playoffs, which the Yankees can’t do,”

Moneyball is all about improving the previous way of analyzing baseball players by focusing on statistics that more accurately assess any given ballplayer’s value over another potential prospect. Likewise, patent valuation tools should move beyond standard approaches in order to get a more accurate understanding of a patent’s actual value. The apparent intention behind Microsoft’s new valuation tool is to reach this goal, assisting Microsoft’s managers in accurately assessing best steps when considering alternate IP defense strategies.

Patent Valuation software tools certainly are not a new concept. (GTT has been using one internally since its inception and began offering it as a service for our clients’ benefit over 5 years ago). Many patent valuation tools available offer simple analysis with few variables. Most don’t afford estimated value ranges for the patent, but rather provide ambiguous patent scores that are difficult to translate into information useful for making necessary business decisions. In the IDG Connect article, Gutierrez references forward citations, backward citations and applicable market revenue as key metrics to define the quality of a patent portfolio. These metrics certainly are important, but additional relevant metrics must be taken into account in order to provide accurate information IP managers need to make critical decisions.

GTT’s Quantitative Valuation Tool has always led the way by providing our clients with insight into their portfolio by confirming high value assets and uncovering additional monetization opportunities, including a probable transaction value range. GTT’s Quant is powered by our Transaction History Database. Drawing on hundreds of patent transactions recorded over the prior ten (10) years and constantly updated to reflect current market trends, GTT’s quantitative assessment analyzes key patent metrics and links them to real-world transactions through regression analysis.

Understanding how a patent compares to another patent is interesting. In fact, it can be helpful in improving the understanding of your portfolio’s value, much like there is real significance in a scout’s assessment of a young pitcher’s arm being a “cannon.” Ultimately, however, quantitative assessment is no substitute for a comprehensive analysis of select high value assets that are driving the particular business decision.

Removing Speculation from Patent Valuation

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Dan Buri, JD

Over the past few months, GTT has fielded countless inquiries from CEOs, CFOs and CIPOs wondering what the value of their patents might be. Some have asked for valuation guidance regarding the sale of specific patents in the current market. Others have simply presented GTT with their patent portfolios to determine or gain a third party opinion as to value and to uncover monetization opportunities. Simply put, they ask us, “What’s it worth?”

GTT’s patent asset services consist of patent brokerage, patent acquisition, patent valuation, patent-leveraged M&A, alternative financing options, and licensing support. Our clients have included career inventors, entrepreneurs, small-cap companies and Global 50 Corporations. We regularly consult with the world’s leading technology companies on a variety of matters ranging from patent asset divestment strategies to strategic initiatives. At the heart of all these services, however, is patent valuation. While many refer to GTT as a patent brokerage, in reality we are a patent valuation firm that has a very successful best in class patent brokerage arm. There is a reason executives continue to come back to GTT with their patent valuation needs. Our valuation capabilities are of the highest quality.

GTT’s patent valuation expertise began when Michael Lubitz first started our IP transaction history database over a decade ago. From day one, GTT has used that data to identify common characteristics in valuable patents, going far beyond the relatively simple “forward citation valuation models” of the time. Starting in 2004, GTT began offering our clients valuation services, including access to our internal valuation tools and methodologies, and it has become an advisory cornerstone.

GTT offers a range of valuation services. The cost-effective quantitative valuation, which utilizes GTT’s proprietary database, is an efficient tool our clients use to gain insight into their patent asset holdings. The quantitative assessment identifies and confirms high value assets within a portfolio, providing an value indicator as well as a value range. For select assets that exhibit high value potential, GTT offers its comprehensive valuation. The comprehensive valuation includes prosecution history review, external prior art analysis, evidence of use determination, and best use strategies. The final valuation decision represents a consensus opinion from several GTT analysts. The consensus opinion is especially important, as it tends to reflect actual market variables. Ultimately, GTT’s valuation engagements are always tailored to the specific needs of each individual client, which allows the client to receive the information that puts them in the best position to make difficult IP decisions.

Valuing intellectual property assets is speculative, and patents assets are no different. Ultimately, however, GTT’s patent valuation service removes a significant degree of the speculation associated with patent asset-based business decisions.

Top Assignees in 2008

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Andrew Godsey, VP Sales

IBM led the list of companies that received patents in 2008 for the 16th year in a row. IBM received 4,186 patents in 2008 which makes it the first company to receive 4,000 patents in a year according to IFI Patent Intelligence.

The total number of patents issued in 2008 was 157,774. With IBM leading the pack, the other top ten include Samsung (3,515), Canon (2,114), Microsoft (2,030), Intel (1,776), Matsushita (1,745), Toshiba (1,609), Fujitsu (1,494), Sony (1,485) and HP (1,424).

It will be interesting to see the total number of patents issued in the future with firms like HP and IBM saying they will focus on patent quality over quantity. The USPTO saw a 6% increase in patent applications to 466,147 in 2008 so it is hard to imagine the total number of patents being issued per year going down anytime soon.

Click here to see the IFI press release.

Wasted Maintenance Fees

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Dan Buri, JD

As the economic downturn continues, individual households have been forced to forego planned expenditures. It has been no different for businesses. Many companies have found themselves in similar new budget realities. Budget cuts and layoffs have become a common theme recently in the business world. For many companies, reducing patent maintenance fees is a less obvious way of decreasing expenses.

For those companies qualifying for small entity status, the maintenance fee schedule for a patent issuing today will run about $4,000 for a single patent–$490 at 3.5 years, $1240 at 7.5 years, and $2,055 at 11.5 years. Few organizations, however, have the small entity luxury of discounted patent fees. The standard maintenance fee for a patent issuing today is more than $7,500 over the life of the patent–$980 at 3.5 years, $2,480 at 7.5 years, and $4,110 at 11.5 years. With many experts estimating that between 10 to 35 percent of any company’s patent portfolio is non-core, the maintenance fee savings can be significant. In fact, if you take into account foreign filings, maintenance fees can account for 2/3 of a patent’s overall cost.

While your company is looking at budget cuts, it may make sense to review the patents on which you are currently paying maintenance fees. You may find patents that are not core to your business—and letting them expire can save you considerable funds. Alternatively, you may find that your non-core patents hold significant value for another company. In this case, a patent sale may be a valuable option. A simple patent house cleaning could not only end up saving a significant amount of money in maintenance fees for your company, but may even bring in important unexpected revenue.

Flash of Genius: Lessons Learned from Robert Kearns

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Andrew Godsey, VP Sales

I am consistently impressed with the modern-day inventors GTT represents. While GTT’s patent brokerage clients are generally large or mid-size companies, a significant portion of GTT’s clientele represent the classic inventor. These inventors immediately came to mind as “Flash of Genius”, the story of Robert Kearns, was released in movie theaters last month.

Robert Kearns was the inventor of intermittent windshield wipers (patent numbers: 3,351,836; 3,602,790 and 4,544,870). After an unsuccessful attempt to license the technology to the “Big Three”, Kearns went on to sue Ford and Chrysler for patent infringement. The case eventually ended up being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Kearn’s uphill legal battle lasted from 1978 to 1995 and cost him approximately $10M in legal fees but eventually netted him around $30M in damages.

There are a few thoughts I take away from the story of Robert Kearns:

There is a market now that wasn’t there 40, 20, or even 10 years ago. Transferring patents has become incredibly common. Most major corporations have staff and processes in place dedicated to reviewing intellectual property acquisitions. Were Robert Kearns around today, he would have many more options available to him that could have alleviated some of the costs associated with his battle against Ford and Chrysler. Which leads me to a second thought….

If Kearns would have known that his litigation would last nearly 20 years, cost $10M and take the toll on his professional/personal life that it did, would he have still chosen to litigate?

How would Kearns’ case have held up in light of KSR (KSR v. Teleflex)? Given that the primary legal defense against Kearns in the Ford case was that his patent was obvious, would the verdict have changed today?

Every day GTT advises its inventor clientele on the best path forward and gives solid advice on likely monetization outcomes regarding their patent assets.