July 07, 2010

Congress Working on Patent Reform Legislation Says Trevor Carter

The question of "What is my patent worth?" is never an easy one to answer, according to intellectual property attorneys and others who specialize in helping patent holders determine what they should expect for a patent, Indiana Lawyer reported in its story, "What's a Patent Worth? Many Factors Determine Value of IP."

Questions include determining the value of filing a patent, what a patent is worth when doing a business transaction or the patent's value when it is the focus of a lawsuit, according to the story.

Another issue companies and investors look at is the likelihood they'll be sued over a patent. However, decisions of the Federal Circuit are also showing signs that the judges are taking a more scrutinizing look at evidence and testimony when determining royalties, Trevor Carter of Baker & Daniels told Indiana Lawyer.

Carter said Congress is working on patent reform legislation. Efforts by both branches could mean significant changes for how much patents are worth, but there is still no defined way to definitively calculate the value of a patent, the story reported.

Among the cases that have had significant outcomes for IP valuations, Carter told Indiana Lawyer, is the April 2009 case in Cornell University v. Hewlett-Packard Co. In that case, the Federal Circuit reduced a $186 million verdict to $53 million. In the story, Carter also mentioned two other cases: a September 2009 case, Lucent Techs. Inc. v. Gateway Inc., where the Federal Circuit vacated a $357 million damages award, and a February 2010 case, where the Federal Circuit vacated a damages award in ResQNet.com Inc. v. Lansa Inc.
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