James Blick of TheJudge will be speaking on the topic of patent litigation funding at the forthcoming “Best Practices for Selling Your Patents” conference in London on 17th November 2014.
The conference is aimed at patent holders considering selling their patents, however James’ session will explore the options for parties that wish to retain ownership of their IP, but use alternative litigation financing to manage the costs and risks involved.
A sale of IP rights is often considered by parties that lack the financial firepower to litigate against large scale infringers. However, where cost and risk management is the key driver, parties are increasingly considering alternative approaches to a sale, whereby the ownership and control of the enforcement strategy is retained in house, but supported by an external funder and/or insurer.
The European litigation financing market has grown exponentially in recent years, with over two dozen specialist litigation funding companies operating in Europe. Of those funders, many have developed or strengthened their in house IP expertise, having identified patent litigation funding as a potentially lucrative sector. A funder will provide capital for legal costs and expense, in exchange for a share of the revenues generated following successful litigation or licensing.
In addition, the London insurance markets now offer a range of IP litigation insurance products, which can either be used alongside or in place of third party funding. This insurance can be used by a party that is asserting a patent against one or more infringers, (often on the basis of a premium which is only payable if litigation or licensing revenues are generated), as well as by a party defending an infringement claim and/or suing for revocation. The insurance can either be limited to adverse costs (the risk of losing and being ordered to pay the other party’s costs) as well as potentially the policyholder’s own legal costs.