Jay Walker, Priceline founder, is launching a startup Patent Properties to produce a marketplace for patent owners much like ASCAP which represented musicians and publishers to reach an agreement where radio stations paid a reasonable fee to play songs licensed by ASCAP. Since 1920, ASCAP has collected nearly $1 billion in royalties.
Patent Properties hopes to make a marketplace for patent owners that will broker low cost deals between inventors and users. Mr. Walker states, "we believe that by using simplicity, technology and common sense that works for everybody, and especially by keeping prices very low, we can replicate in the intellectual property and patent world what ASCAP did in the music world." Walker notes only 5% of 2.3 million U.S. patents enforce are licensed due to the high cost of patent litigation and companies unwillingness to take a patent license until forced.
Patent Properties asks that a patent owner agree to a no-fault system that makes the patented invention available to companies that pay a monthly fee of $1,000 to license 100 patents deemed statistically relevant to the company's business. Mr. Walker states each time a patent gets packaged an inventor can expect on average $100/year.
Mr. Walker notes since it won't have permission to use all US patents, the subscribers will be provided insurance that covers 50% of legal costs arising from infringement lawsuits up to, of course, a limit.
Copyright © 2014 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.