TerraCaptus LLC | Blog

Mapping the Patent Market Landscape

One common intellectual property strategy is the accumulation of “war-chests” of patent holdings - either to support an offensive campaign or to set up a strong defensive perimeter. When patent assets are exchanged, there is often little incentive for either party to draw attention to changes in their respective arsenals - other than steps necessary to meet the requirements of financial institutions, parties performing due diligence processes, and the like.

While some transactions attract a degree of attention in the press, most activity remains cloaked from view of the general public. These challenges make the Intellectual Property market a notoriously difficult landscape to track and understand.

TerraCaptus has developed a number of tools that allow us to discover key insights into the IP marketplace, and in turn, enable our clients to optimize the value of their assets at the time of sale. One such tool is our Patent Assignment Lens™. This tool visualizes the flow of assignment records from assignees to new assignors. Filtering through millions of records publicly available through the USPTO, the Patent Assignment Lens reveals relationships between firms and patterns of transactions that are otherwise difficult to discern.

TerraCaptus Patent Assignment Lens

The Patent Assignment Lens visualizes the flow of assignment transactions between assignor firms on the left, to the assignee firms on the right. The thickness of the links between two parties correlates to the number of unique patent assets transferred.
Roll your mouse over an assignee on the right to highlight all the links connected to that party. Scroll down to Broadcom, for example, to see the 7 associated parties.

Notable highlights in the sample above include:

  • NEC’s divestiture of more than 350 assets to Gold Charm Limited (a holding company representing the interests of Hon Hai Precision Industry Company),
  • Broadcom’s acquisition of more than 200 patents from companies such as ATI and AMD, as well as purchases of firms like Renesas and Beceem,
  • NPE activity such as Walker Digital’s dissolution of its partnership with IGT, and Eastman Kodak’s sale of assets to IV and RPX,
  • and a few well known brands such as Apple, Cisco, Qualcomm and Hewlett-Packard flexing their muscles with acquisitions of more than 450 assets.

The transaction flows that are often obscured by the typical challenges with IP (complicated holding entities, large volumes of procedural legal filings etc.), are brought into sharp focus by the Patent Assignment Lens. TerraCaptus’ proprietary data acquisition and data scrubbing techniques standardize large volumes of data from public and private sources in order to present a reportable interface through the Lens. TerraCaptus and our stakeholders are able to activate filters by business category (SIC codes etc.), time frame, individual firms and more. Innovative visualization techniques such as flow diagrams and network graphs are a critical feature of our tools that allows both lay and expert users to productively explore these enormous datasets and uncover valuable insights.

TerraCaptus is focused on bringing value to our clients and partners through our knowledge and expertise in the monetization of Intellectual Property. Fully featured versions of our internal tools - like the Patent Assignment Lens - will soon be available for public use. We are eager to hear your thoughts on challenges you have faced grappling with the IP marketplace.

Follow TerraCaptus on LinkedIn for updates on the Patent Assignment Lens and other news :

Of course, reach out to me with any questions, comments or advice on where to find a great cup of coffee in your town!

Interested in selling IP on TerraCaptus?

  • Please contact us to learn more.

Read More