Journal Article

Patent auctions: business and investment strategy in IP commercialization

Dr. Hidero Niioka

in Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice

Volume 1, issue 11, pages 728-731
Published in print October 2006 | ISSN: 1747-1532
Published online September 2006 | e-ISSN: 1747-1540 | DOI:
Patent auctions: business and investment strategy in IP commercialization

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  • Arbitration
  • Intellectual Property Law


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Legal context. This article concerns patent sale and licensing, asset deals connected with M&A and intangible asset transactions.

Key points. Patent owners might find patent auctions a fast way to sell or license their patents. There is a high probability that bidders will purchase or license low- or no- value patents because patent auctions set a very tight time frame for bidders’ due diligence. The nature of the patent right creates a big imbalance in terms of knowledge between owner of the patent and the purchaser or licensee; the latter party can only minimize the risk of purchasing or licensing a “zero” or low value patent by receiving sufficient time to investigate the patents. IP auctions may however be a better and safer means of purchasing or licensing domain names or trade marks, due to their legal nature.

Practical significance. Many companies might believe that patent auction is a swift and effective way to find a purchaser or a licensee for their IP rights. Even so, it is imperative that the bidders themselves conduct a proper due diligence of the patents offered, corresponding to their needs and to their assessment of their true financial and business value.

Journal Article.  2236 words. 

Subjects: Arbitration ; Intellectual Property Law

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