Poor Economic Forecast and Patent Prosecution:
- Bad: Patent value is based on potential market for patented products when the market shrinks, so does the value of the patents;
- Bad: Patent prosecution is generally a cash-heavy endeavor, and many firms are low on cash/credit;
- Bad: The smaller market and lack of cash may also depress research & development expenditures – potentially leading to a time-lagged depression in patent applications.
- Good: When times are tough, folks save their scraps. Patents are one way to do that;
- Good: Patents are something that can be more easily sold or licensed (as compared with trade secrets, for instance). Companies looking for alternative cash streams; to sell-off portions of the corporation; or to retain some value in bankruptcy may look to patent protection.
- I spent a summer at Heller Ehrman while in law school. The firm dissolved earlier this fall. Using Patent Buddy, I graphed the number of registered patent practitioners at Heller over the past several years. Their patent department shows problems stretching back to 2007.
- Figure 2 below shows the same information for the law firm of Akin Gump. Patent Buddy’s data comes directly from the PTO’s enrollment database. That database is usually a bit outdated because many patent attorneys are slow to update their records.
- Obama’s Choice as the next head of the Department of Commerce is New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. Gov. Richardson was Energy Secretary under Clinton.
New Blogs (new to me):
- Some places are hiring patent attorneys: Apple; Ultradent; Quine IP Firm; Invention Law Group (IV); MoFo; Roche; Wenderoth; Connolly Bove; Gordon Reese; GWU; Ward & Smith Firm; Myers Dawes; Young & Thompson; Pacific Biosciences; Amin Hallihan.