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Flextronics AP LLC has in recent years developed a portfolio of patents for connected cars. This includes 79 patent families including 11 patents.

In the blog found here, patent analyst Dr Alex Lee of TechIPM (Boston) reviews these patents and uses the LIcensing Potential metric developed by Ambercite to identify the companies that Flextronics may  be able to licence their patents to. This list is headed by Cisco and AT&T.

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Who has the best portfolio of patents for smartphone patents Near Field Communication - and who might they license to?

These are questions asked by patent analyst Dr Alex Lee of TechIPM, of Boston. Dr Lee has combined his detailed knowledge of this area along with the Licensing Potential analysis developed by Ambercite to write the blog titled NFC Patents for Smartphone Mobile Payments Licensing Potential Assessment

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Licensing managers are often called upon to identify potential licensing options for portfolios of patent they might manage. There are a variety of ways of doing this, but perhaps the easiest way, and a very simple starting point, is to start with the patents themselves.  

Ambercite has recently developed Cluster Searching, which is a web application for finding the most similar patents to one or more starting patents. This is done using advanced analytics which are applied to patent citations. Each patent citation is an opinion by an expert (being the patent applicant or examiner) that two patents are similar. The advanced analytics within Cluster Searching then combine these opinions to work out which clusters of patents are most similar to the starting patents, irrespective of the keywords or patent class codes that are use. Date filters can also be applied to focus the search. The search can take seconds to run working from the patent numbers themselves.

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One of the tasks that patent managers get called upon to do from time to time is patent due diligence during the buying or selling of companies. In theory a good due diligence assessment should include a patent attorney review of the every patent of the company concerned. Unfortunately in practice there is rarely the budget to do this, meaning that due diligence assessment is often limited to:

  • A simple legal check, namely that the patent details such as numbers are correct. While undoubtedly important, this is only part of the picture
  • A superficial review of some of the leading patents
  • A warranty provided by the vendor that they know of no IP issues. While these warranties are most likely provided in good faith, just because an IP risk is not know about does not mean that it does not exist.

I think we would all agree that a more comprehensive assessment is a good thing, but few of us have unlimited budgets. Ideally, this review would cover the following areas:

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