Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Microvision: Protect Your Intellectual Property Part 1

Today, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, Microvision has been ranked #43 worldwide in the electronics & instruments industry for the strength of their patent portfolio by “The Patent Board”, the leading independent provider of best practices research, tools and metrics for patent analysis and intellectual property investment.

According to The Patent Board, Microvision had a 29% increase in patenting and a 38% increase in Industry Impact™ this quarter.

Here’s the link to The WSJ/Patent Score Card from this morning…

http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-macromkt.html?mod=topnav_2_3000

Monday, September 28, 2009

Companies and private research firms are grouped by their Patent Board technology strength ranking which is based on the scale, quality, impact, and nearness to core science of a company’s patent-based intellectual property. This overall strength rating factors in both qualitative and quantitative aspects of a company’s patent portfolio.

Continue on to the Score Card…
*****
If you have been reading about the recent buzz about Pico projectors, you will know that the laser based PicoP display engine/projector market will be huge in the next few years. And sooner or later the competition will recognize that laser based Pico projection produces the most desirable and always in focus images. Laser based Pico projection is the way to go… and single MEMS will be the least expensive and scalable solution to the huge potential markets world-wide that is more the 2 billion units per year large.

With that in mind, the question comes to mind: “How well Microvision is prepared and plans to fend-off infringement to its Intellectual Property in the future… for the sake of its future?” Microvision is the only company, as of this day, that produces the RGB laser based single MEMS PicoP display engine/projector on this planet.

With the enormous size of the future Pico projector market [in terms of units & dollars] the financial rewards will certainly attract competitors that will…

Having said that…
• Blatantly infringe on Microvision patents;

• challenge the validity of Microvision patents;
• claim conferring a “negative right” upon Microvision;
• claim Microvision as “patent troll”;
• and of course develop their own portfolio of “petty” patents to “fragment” the Microvision IP portfolio.

What’s needed is proactive, relentless, ruthless and effective IP portfolio management at Microvision… something similar to what was successfully done [and continues to be] at Qualcomm. The most effective and the least expensive way to do that, is to go out there and hire a senior patent engineer from Qualcomm and appoint him/her the CPO… the Chief Patent Officer at Microvision.

Why Qualcomm you say?

Well consider this from personal experience…

“About 12 years ago, I had the opportunity of managing a semi-conductor company about three miles away from Qualcomm in San Diego. During the course of my tenure I made friends with a few Qualcomm executives and learned a few things about their patents and IP management as an asset… especially with a serious understanding of their company’s major [if not entire] business model that was based around licensing and royalty.”

“I still remember the “lobby wall” at Qualcomm with over 850 issued patents [currently over 1,200] framed and displayed proudly. Qualcomm’s patents were for CDMA technology and at the time [in 1996] they knew it would some day power billions of cell phones worldwide. Qualcomm managed their IP assets proactively, relentlessly, ruthlessly and very effectively… that is until recently before the Broadcomm debacle which cost Qualcomm $891 million dollars in IP infringement litigation and damages cost.”

The Wall Street Journal/Patent Board is the leading independent provider of best practices research, tools and metrics for patent analysis and intellectual property investment. The Patent Board’s team of experts, deep pool of knowledge and foundation in core research provides its clients with valuable insight on patent-based IP strategies. The Patent Board leadership is advancing the value of patent knowledge to both inform business strategy and to help define patent assets as the next critical financial asset class.

That’s a mouth full. The bare naked truth of all this for Microvision is…

“With the enormous size of the future Pico projector market [in terms of units & dollars] the financial rewards will certainly attract deep pocketed competitors that will infringe [and engage in all the above unscrupulous deeds] to test your resolve, create distraction, put financial burden of litigation… all in the hopes of extracting a cheap, if not free, licensing agreement.”

With that in mind, the question to ask is: “How well Microvision is prepared and how it plans to fend-off infringement to its Intellectual Property in the future… for the sake of its future?”

Anant Goel