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  1. #1
    This story on BBC News illustrates what I see as the latest development in a disturbing trend in patent licensing. The predictability of costs and exposure that comes from licensing patents from someone else is winning out over uncertainty of weathering exposure to potential patent litigation.

  2. #2

    The Perils of Fueling Innovation Through Licensing Patents From NPEs

    That is kind of sad, because non-practicing entities aren't innovating. The companies licensing patents from NPEs may innovate based on those deals, but then their product portfolios are inexorably dependent upon those deals.

  3. #3
    I concede that patent liability is always increasing, and gets more dangerous as a company gets more innovative, but this licensing framework seems like a really bad solution, especially in the long-term. It creates an extremely imbalanced power differential between the NPE and the licensor, and may lead to awful renewal terms for those licensors when the time comes. Maybe licensors won't be able to afford to re-up, and their innovations will have to come off the market.

  4. #4
    Can someone more well-versed in patent licensing than I am try to alleviate my concerns about this growing trend?

  5. #5
    This is a common complaint – that NPEs are causing all sorts of horrible problems and if we could only be shut of them that everything in the patent garden would be rosy – the only problem is that it’s not actually true.
    In fact some NPEs are extremely innovative. ARM is arguably an NPE and the various university commercialization arms are absolutely NPEs, there’s nothing in principle wrong with NPEs.

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