How Patent Licensing Helps Spur More Innovation

IP News

Recently, IPTrader was one of the unique exhibitors at the International Trademark Association (INTA) Annual Meeting, held in San Diego California. While at INTA, our representatives spoke with hundreds of people from all over the world. During those discussions, we covered hundreds of topics and ideas, ranging from patent valuation to IP monetization and from selling trademarks to IP brokering. One visitor to our booth boldly asked if we were “patent trolls?” Of course, after we explained to him our business model and our expertise he clearly understood that we are not patent trolls.

Is There a Troll Under That Bridge?

So what are patent trolls and why do they keep giving patent licensing and other forms of IP monetization a bad name? Is patent licensing really a bad thing? Of course, the answer is no. In fact, patent licensing is a legitimate form of business. The problem occurs when businesses or individuals become IP owners solely for the purpose to file lawsuits against potential infringers of their property. They are not looking to sell their intellectual property or even to make a tangible product. Rather, they simply hold onto the IP rights in the hopes that someone else will infringe on them. They can then sue the infringer and takes his or her profits or force the infringer to sign a licensing agreement to continue using the technology.

Benefits Patent Licensing and IP Monetization

That is exactly the kind of strategy that gives patent licensing a bad name, and the kind of activity that leads people to ask: are you a patent troll? Because of patent trolls, many people feel that patent licensing and other forms of IP monetization are inherently evil. Many people even claim that these forms of business actually hurt innovation. However, the reality is, patent licensing and other forms of monetization actually help promote and advance innovation and technology. Consider the many technological advances used in cell phones, for example. There are countless patents inside a single handset that have been made available to phone makers by individuals and companies that have allowed these companies to produce the products we enjoy today.

More Innovation Leads to Better Products

As these technologies advance, other inventors begin to create additional technologies, which in turn improves the handset industry as whole. That means better products for consumers and in turn still more innovation in an effort to create newer and even more advanced technologies. Thus, by licensing this innovation, inventors and companies are motivated to continue creating even better products that we all can enjoy.

Some Would Have You Think Otherwise

However, as with most things, there is opposition to this way of thinking. Some lobbyists or special interest groups that represent large companies would have you believe that patent licensing is not a real form of business, but rather a sketchy “black market” kind of proposition. The truth is, however, that many of these same companies have no problem using their own intellectual property to license to other companies without ever using them for the their own products.

Monetize Your IP With IPTrader

So while some will continue to cry foul when it comes to patent licensing and other forms of patent monetization, the fact remains these are legitimate forms of business and they do more good for advancing technology than harm. At IPTrader, we can help you monetize your IP, including patent licensing, patent selling and patent rights accumulation. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you maximize your IP earnings potential, then please contact us below today, or click here to send us your information online.