On the radar: IP licensing trends for the new decade
February 16, 2021
Our senior leaders at Marconi have more than 200 years’ collective experience in licensing IP. Just a few weeks into a new decade, we captured some of their predictions for all things patent licensing in the year ahead:
- Pressure to realize the value of intellectual property: As the business effects of the global pandemic bite, we expect to see even more focus on adding revenue streams. While many companies are already exploring how to use their data, we believe that monetizing intellectual property is going to be a stronger focus in more boardrooms this year.
- A continuation of IP nationalism: The global litigation environment will continue to develop and the trend for national courts to try to set global FRAND rates is rising, whether in Germany, the UK, China or the Eastern District of Texas. With no supranational organization having the jurisdiction to set a global rate, using national courts will continue to be a tactic for parties on both sides of IP disputes. While this adds complexity, over the long term the willingness of companies to go to court is slowly making legal positions clearer, although that is little comfort to IP professionals who just want to make good deals in the meantime.
- More consequences for ‘holding out’: German and UK courts have showed a willingness in recent years to issue injunctive relief – and other sanctions for improper behaviour- against implementers that have declined FRAND license offers or refused to negotiate in good faith. Will courts and government agencies in other countries, such as the U.S., follow their lead, and will this be enough to undermine the incentives for “hold out”?
- Evolving qualifications for patent professionals. The use of cloud-based analytics in patent portfolio management has been talked about for years. Whether it breaks through as the prevailing methods or not, mastery of a range of analytics tools will increasingly be a part of the professional requirements. Likewise, the push for in house IP teams to generate income will only add to the need for a more proactive and entrepreneurial approach across the industry.
- A breakthrough year for licensing platforms? An influx of new licensors will add complexity and we believe will make patent pools, platforms and other forms of collective licensing even more important. For Marconi and the licensing businesses we support, working with companies around the world to make the licensing process efficient and mutually rewarding for all is our driving force.
Do you agree? What are you and your IP team preparing for in the coming years?