Joe Seisdedos, Senior Associate, Patent Attorney
The Economist has reported the creation of a new financial exchange, IPXI (http://www.ipxi.com) which attempts to simplify the trading of patent rights (http://www.economist.com/node/21554540).
Traditionally, the trading and licensing of patents and other IP rights has occurred behind closed doors and the initiation of the process has been based on personal introductions or cold calling. Smaller innovators have found it hard to contact and interact with parties who might be interested in buying or licensing their patented technology, due to the need to spend appreciable time finding the right contacts.
While there have been some attempts in the past to set up websites and portals that provide a public marketplace for Intellectual Property (e.g. patent auction websites), such attempts have been mostly unsuccessful, due to a lack of interest by both Intellectual Property holders and potential buyers. The IPXI new financial exchange may be different.
The exchange provides an interesting model for licensing patent rights, by offering a patent or group of patents as “unit licence rights” (ULRs), which can be traded like shares. A ULR grants a one-time right to use a particular technology in a single product. This turns licensing rights into a commodity, making the rights much easier to trade and use. Perhaps more importantly, IPXI is supported by some major players. The exchange has signed up 30 substantial members, including multinational electronics company Philips. On 4 May 2012 the Exchange published the rulebook that governs how the exchange will work.
If you would like to discuss whether the Exchange is right for you, please contact Joe Seisdedos
) to discuss further.