July 18th, 2012
By: Fernando Torres, MSc
A Patent is the right to exclude others from practicing an invention for a number of years, granted in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention. The Value of a Patent depends on the profitability of the exclusive business opportunity the patent carves out for the owner.
Research in Motion Ltd.
- Owns thousands of patents (issued and pending) mostly in Canada, Europe and the US.
- In 2011, acquired US$775 million portion of Nortel patents (US$4.5 billion) as part of a consortium
- Intangibles are US$3.37 billion on June 2, 2012 balance sheet.
Research in Motion’s Patent Portfolio
- In the US, holds over 3,000 utility patents, design patents, or published applications.
- About one-third are designs or patents directly related to the well known Blackberry® handsets.
- Another portion deals with wireless communications.
- Yet another refers to touch screen phones.
Research in Motion’s Potential Patent Value
- The portfolio contains innovations for future applications, such as: Combining the use of capacitive and resistive touch sensors to improve accuracy, and LTE telecommunication technology.
- Includes systems and methods for instant messaging which are current technology.
- Yet has many more designs and patents only applicable to the legacy Blackberry® phones.
- Component patents in the portfolio could be used for litigation defense and offensive strategies.
- Typical patent litigation can cost $2 or $3 million with only 40% of cases recovering more than the cost of litigation.
- In the current environment, the RIM patents could be attractive litigation leverage for Google (Motorola mobility), Microsoft (Nokia), and Samsung and HTC (vs. Apple).
June 22nd, 2012
The New York Times reports today on the rights of publicity class action proposed settlement by which Facebook would agree to make it clear to users that when they click to like a product on Facebook, their names and photos can be used to plug the product. They will also be given a chance to decline the opportunity to be unpaid endorsers…
Read the NYT article.
The preliminary motion for approval of the settlement in the Fraley et al. v. Facebook case is available here: Digital Commons
June 13th, 2012
The market for online and mobile advertising patents is large. In 2012, total ad spending for all media is set to reach nearly $200 billion. Of particular significance, online advertising is expected to account for a third of total ad spending, and is projected to surpass print for the first time this year. Specifically, online advertising is expected to generate $39.5 billion in ad sales in 2012 — a 23.3% increase from 2011 — compared to a sum of $33.8 billion on print. By 2016, total online ad expenditures are projected to hit $62 billion, with Facebook expected to account for one out of five digital display ads in 2015. This advertising evolution is of critical importance as the spread of viral media content is heavily reliant upon the connectivity of social networks.
Mobile devices are quickly becoming the primary means of communication for social networks. In 2012, mobile-ad spending in the US is projected to grow to 2.61 billion, which represents an 80% increase over 2011. As such, online advertisers are keenly interested in leveraging the opportunity of pairing their advertisements with the widespread distribution of viral media content. Accordingly, mobile advertising represents a major growth segment across all consumer demographics.
To highlight the market value of ad servers, mobile ad networks and mobile-ad intellectual property, Google acquired mobile-ad network, AdMob, in 2010, and Apple bought Quattro Wireless the same year. Likewise, smaller players such as Jumptap and India-based InMobi are vying for U.S. display ad dollars too. Microsoft paid $1.1 billion to AOL for 800 patents related to advertising, search, mapping and multimedia. Yahoo! sued Facebook in January, claiming that the social network violates 10 patents related to advertising, among other things.
The fluidity and level of competition in the display advertising market means new entrants can come in and be successful. Therefore, the licensing opportunities for Patent No. 8,185,431 will be significant.
To learn more about this patent, visit the microsite at: IPmetrics – Monetization.
 Mashable.com. Online Ad Spending to Surpass Print for First Time in 2012 (January 19, 2012) (http://mashable.com/2012/01/19/online-advertising-surpasses-print-2012/)
 The State of The News Media 2012 (2012) (http://stateofthemedia.org/2012/overview-4/)
 Advertising Age. Mobile-Ad Spending Projected To Reach $2.61B In 2012 (January 25, 2012) (http://adage.com/article/digital/mobile-ad-spending-projected-reach-2-61b-2012/232334/)