|標題:||專利事業體Acacia Research Corporation的專利指標及訴訟之實證分析|
The Empirical Study of Acacia Research Corporation, A Non Practicing Entity, Focused on its Patent Portfolio and Patent Litigation Strategies
|關鍵字:||專利事業體;專利指標;專利訴訟;美國國際貿易委員會;NPE;Patent valuation;Acacia;ITC;Patent litigation|
|摘要:||專利蟑螂或專利事業體近年來迅速成為美國專利訴訟上熱門的議題，科技業深受此新型態專利經營模式所困擾。這些專利事業體最具代表性的是Acacia Research Cooperation，主要從事以收購專利、授權專利與實施專利權為主要業務，利用大量的授權談判與專利訴訟，來獲取收益。本文以Acacia為主要研究對象，利用實證方式分析其擁有專利組合特質，分析其訴訟行為策略。專利事業體在美國國際貿易委員會的調查案件中，有轉趨活躍的趨勢。本研究發現Acacia在專利組合特質上優於其他專利事業體，更勝於營運公司，專利主要布局在電子技術領域、包含數位資料處理，通訊協定、數位廣播、語音通訊等，此外還有關於商業與金融管理。在Acacia訴訟行為分析上，Acacia利用附屬公司或子公司發動專利訴訟，主要目標都是具有規模且指標性公司。在選擇訴訟法院上，Acacia主要選擇是德州東區聯邦地方法院，以及對專利權人有利的法院。Acacia採取多位共同被告在單一訴訟中，來提高談判的籌碼。Acacia的案件和解或撤銷天數約在一年左右。從2006年開始，專利事業體在ITC案件逐漸攀升，對於專利事業體是否符合國內產業適格性有相關探討。而國內廠商對於專利事業體有哪些因應之道？被NPEs認定可能為侵權者時，就要主動提起確認之訴。加強不侵權抗辯能提供更強的防禦與談判優勢。企業需建立專業的智權團隊來經營專利，建立專利訴訟資料庫，加強對專利事業體資訊收集。|
Patent trolls or non-practicing entities (“NPE”) have rapidly become a hot topic in U.S patent litigation over the recent years. The technology in-dustry has been deeply troubled by this new type of patent business model. The most well-known representative of NPEs is Acacia Research Coopera-tion (“Acacia”). Acacia acquires, licenses, and enforces patented technology rights as its main business, making its revenues through large numbers of patent licensing negotiations and patent litigations. This paper uses Acacia is as the main subject of research, applying the empirical approach in ana-lyzing the quality of Acacia’s patent portfolio and its patent litigation strate-gies. The study found that Acacia’s patent portfolio quality is superior to other NPEs, and often exceeding the quality of patent portfolios owned by operating companies. Acacia’s patent portfolio scope focuses mainly on the electronics industry, ranging from digital data processing, protocol, digital ra-dio, and digital communications. In addition to patents related to the elec-tronics industry, Acacia’s patent portfolio also expands to the areas of busi-ness and financial management. Analysis of Acacia’s litigation strategy find that Acacia uses its affiliates or subsidiaries to launch patent litigation against large companies as its major targets. Texas Eastern Federal District Court has long been favored by Acacia as the main choice of venue for litiga-tion or other venues that have ruled in favor of the patent holder. Acacia of-ten takes on multiple defendants in a single suit to increase its bargaining power for negotiations and cases usually end in settlement or withdrawal in about a year. Cases brought by NPEs before the International Trade Com-mission (“ITC”) have also increased in recent years, gradually rising since 2006. This paper also discusses the topic of whether NPEs satisfy the do-mestic industry requirement in the United States (“US”). How do Taiwan domestic manufacturers deal with patent infringement claims against NPEs? Once these domestic manufacturers are identified as infringers by NPEs they will usually take the initiative to file for summary judgment. Enhancing the non-infringement argument provides more strength to the negotiation and defense of the case. It is important that manufacturers build a professional intellectual property team to develop its patent portfolio. Establishing a pat-ent index and patent litigation database to collect information will enhance knowledge of NPEs so that manufacturers maybe more prepared for litiga-tion with NPEs.
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