Sunday, December 8, 2013

Effects of Goodlatte Bill on PIPCO's

The Goodlatte Bill was passed in the House on December 5th and now moves onto the Senate where similar bills are also pending.  It is being lauded as a measure to fight patent trolls.  The reality of the Bill is that it will have no material affect on PIPCO's (Public IP Companies).  PIPCO's are required to disclose just about everything that involves their company through SEC filings.  The majority of PIPCOs do not target small business, startups, or end users.  I am hopeful this bill will weed out the bad actors who are demanding $1,000 from motels and coffee shops over fax machines / wireless networking products that give a NPEs/PAEs a bad reputation.

One of the ramifications of this bill is that small inventors will increasingly partner with publicly traded IP companies that have the monetary and personnel  resources.  The publicly traded companies have access to capital and are able to absorb the associated risks that come with high stakes litigation.  PIPCOs will be acquiring high quality IP and will not waste corporate resources and investor dollars with "bad" patents.

The Bill will not stop the amount of patent suits filed and I foresee an increase in litigation by PIPCOs heading into 2014.  High quality IP will continue to be acquired, such as Vringo's acquisition of patents from a premier R&D shop in Alcatel-Lucent.

Vringo, Virnetx, and Parkervision have scored major jury verdicts over the past 13 months that continue to show that they own high quality IP that will be completely unaffected by the Goodlatte Bill.  Investors in the IP space can look forward to additional acquisitions and monetization campaigns being started.  I also expect patent litigation being filed outside of the US to increase, specifically in Germany.

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