If litigation ensues, it is the spinoff, not the university, who will be the plaintiff in the lawsuit. This reduces the involvement of the university and any negative publicity that could result from the lawsuit.
Using a patent enforcement firm to pursue patent infringers is an alternative with no costs, no risks, and minimal management of the process by university officials who are already plenty busy with their regular duties.
A patent is a wasting asset—sooner or later it will expire. An important factor in computing patent infringement damages is the remaining years on the patent.
Any organization with a patent portfolio of any size has to take a serious look at those assets and determine if there’s revenue that has not yet been, but could be, realized with minimal effort, modest costs, very little risk, and some old-fashioned gumption.
Alexander Poltorak is the chairman and CEO of General Patent Corp. and founder and president of American Innovators for Patent Reform, a nonprofit trade association formed to give voice to American innovators in the ongoing debate on patent reform. He is also the author of two books on patents: Essentials of Intellectual Property and Essentials of Intellectual Property Licensing.
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