Infringement Battles Pit the
Big Boys vs. the Big Boys

IP News and Information

Big vs. Bigger

In days past, patent infringement lawsuits almost always pitted a small time business, or even just an inventor with a single patent against one of the big dogs in the industry. This was where the little guy actually used to stand a chance. Thanks to investors with deep pockets small companies and start-ups could go after infringers and win their case. However, times have changed and it’s rare to see patent rights investors supporting the little guy in court these days. The only battles that the industry sees now are the ones that pit two of the big dogs against each other. In other words, patent battles are now usually fought between two of alpha males, instead of a lion vs. lamb.

Economy Will Play Big Role in Monetization

There’s no question that the patent monetization industry has seen a huge shift, in which large patent holding companies have become the major players. Recent court rulings and government decisions have played a big role in this shift, but there are many other factors that are playing a decisive role in the industry. For example, according to one industry expert, growing interest rates, coupled with a declining stock market, will be the biggest factor in IP investment opportunities moving forward. On the other hand, some still hold to the belief that ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court could play the biggest role in all of this by changing patent law standards. However, if some of the top experts in the industry are right, then any decision by the nation’s top court will only be secondary in significance to the nation’s stock market and interest rates.

Quantity vs. Quality

Meantime, the entire patent monetization industry has seen a shift away from the little players. There used to be a place for just about any patent holder, especially if the patent was strong, but nowadays it’s typically the companies that hold large portfolios that take home most of the investment dollars and the monetization revenue. However, while quantity is import, the real factor now has become quality. So then, why does quantity still matter?

Quantity Equals Strength

For years, probably less than 5 percent of all patents have had real value, which means there are a lot of patents that are basically fluff. Even in this environment, the small guys could still survive because the won their patent claims in court. “These days, however, it’s much harder for the little guys to defend their patent claims,” notes IPTrader president Arlen Olsen. “So that’s where quantity becomes so important. The more patents you have, the more likely you will have some that are actually worth some value.” Therefore, because of the changing patent atmosphere those with single patents have a much harder time making anything from them and they have a much harder time defending their claims in court. That’s why the patent monetization battlefield is now full of epic struggles between the large companies with vast portfolios, instead of between small single patent holders trying to slay a giant who is infringing on his rights.