Marc Fineman, partner in the Intellectual Property Service Group and the Sports Law Service Group, was interviewed for a Law 360 article that was published on January 28, 2012. The article, "5 Ways To Ramp Up Your Patent Portfolio, " mentions how building a strong patent portfolio is not only critical for companies wanting to protect their innovations and set themselves apart from rivals, it gives them more leverage in litigation. It also says that Kodak is expected to sell at least a portion of its massive patent portfolio after filing for Chapter 11 earlier this month in a New York bankruptcy court.
"By some reports, Kodak's portfolio is potentially expected to draw more money than the Nortel portfolio," Marc Fineman said. The portfolio of bankrupt Nortel Networks Inc. was purchased in July by Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and others for $4.5 billion.
That acquisition was followed a month later by Google Inc.'s move to acquire Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and its portfolio of 17,000 patents for $12.5 billion. The purchase was aimed in part at staking a claim in the mobile technology space, but also to bolster Google's position in lawsuits over its Android operating system, said Fineman.
“Google has set its sights on enforcing its Android system against Apple and other players out there, but the acquisition is a defensive move as well,” he said. “If Apple enforces its iOS system against it, Google wants patents in its portfolio to leverage against Apple so that it has some ammunition to negotiate a settlement."
“Patent portfolios have significant value and are worth protecting,” Fineman said. “If companies properly budget and put appropriate procedures in place, they don’t have to be Apple or Microsoft to do this.”
Here are five ways intellectual property lawyers say companies can reinforce their patent portfolio:
1. Study What Your Competitors are Doing
2. Review Your Portfolio Often
3. Encourage New Inventions, In-House
4. Take Advantage of the USPTO
5. Stay On Top of Filings Abroad
Click here to read more about these 5 ways in detail.