Negotiating the Purchase and Sale of Patents



About the Course:

This session provides a thorough overview of the patent brokerage landscape. Mr. Chris Sommers discusses statistics relating to the volume of patent sales transactions and pricing trends. Insight is provided as to the nature, motivations and vulnerabilities of various categories of buyers and sellers. The webinar concludes with a discussion of three case studies which reveal techniques that have been used in patent negotiations.

The following are among the issues discussed in this webinar:

  • Merits of buyers attempting to purchase patents before they are marketed
  • The pros and cons of direct patent sales versus private auctions versus public auctions
  • The primary drivers of achieving patent value in the context of sales transactions
  • The pain points that various groups of buyers (e.g. infringers, competitors of infringers, licensing entities, and consortiums) have
  • Pricing models such as all cash, all back-end royalties and hybrids
  • How patent sellers can spark a bidding war
  • How to lure buyers to “negotiate against themselves”
  • Phases of due diligence a buyer will perform
  • Compensating patent brokers and determining the timelines to sell patents
  • How to sell patents that are already included in cross-licensing agreements
  • Negotiating clawback provisions which enable patent sellers to repurchase patents under stipulated terms and conditions
  • Negotiating exclusive negotiating review periods
  • How the value of remaining patents in a portfolio is affected when other patents in the portfolio are sold
  • The extent to which amortization factors (arising from the capitalization of patent purchase prices) are an issue in patent purchases / sales negotiations

Course Leader: Chris Sommers, Chief Executive Office, ThinkFire

As CEO of ThinkFire, Chris has responsibility for the development and execution of the company’s strategy, business development and client service delivery as well as all internal functions. Prior to becoming CEO, Chris was Senior Vice President of Client Services for ThinkFire, with a primary focus on delivering profit and freedom to enter new markets through patent acquisitions and sales. He has worked with hundreds of high-tech companies worldwide, as well as numerous individual inventors seeking to maximize a return on their inventions. Chris and his team successfully negotiated and closed multi-million dollar brokering agreements across a wide range of industry markets including software, consumer electronics, semiconductors, and telecom, delivering significantly more revenue to their clients than industry averages.

Prior to joining ThinkFire, Chris spent 20 years in ever increasing leadership roles with Telcordia Technologies, a leading provider of telecommunication software and services. He held Profit and Loss responsibility for businesses exceeding $150M in revenue and drove significant revenue and profitability growth through acquisitions of intellectual property and development of innovative new products and services, solving business problems for wireless, wireline, MVNO, and cable operators worldwide.

Chris holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.S. in Computer Science from Northwestern University, and a M.S. in Computer Science from Brown University.

Course Length: Approx. 1.5 hours

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