As global economic forecasts are still weakening, some in the intellectual property industry want to be sure that patents will generally prove effective during or after a recession. This is especially true if you want to earn from them. Times of crisis have encouraged patent holders, investors, their advisers and other intermediaries to go boldly where they have never been before.

Take for example the last two economic shocks. Years after the bursting of the Internet bubble brought us the modern NPE industry, and the great recession after the bank crash and the emergence of the smartphone industry caused this “auction boom.” Nortel and avalanche of patents on the secondary market.

Much of the flooding has affected the assets sold by large operating companies and, with internal teams now facing increasing budgetary pressures, it appears that smart money in the asset market is again ready to be collected at reduced prices .

But it can’t be that easy. Think about what the current market looks like compared to the darkest days of 2008 and 2009. The pace of change has been breathtaking.

In the United States alone, stakeholders have had to deal with four of the 101 Supreme Court decisions in Bilski, Mayo, Myriad and Alice in the past 12 years. Even the highest American court, dissatisfied with the patent argument, changed the rules of the site and, among other things, improved the basic rules for attorney fees.

The America Invents Act has provided us with the Patent Commission and the Appeals Commission, as well as the missile sector for demanding patents. The experimental equation that once concerned the injury is now dominated by validity and the patented vaporized black hole, which is the concept of the “abstract idea”.

The litigation financial sector was still in its infancy 12 years ago. We now have a mature sector that is inundated with money and increasingly interested in supporting patent wars.

There has been a huge increase in capital and technical experts in the data analysis industry, offering intellectual property owners a much wider range of more sophisticated products to perform a variety of activities, from simple portfolio management to valuations more complex. .

It’s enough change to last a lifetime, and we haven’t talked about Europe yet, and in particular about China’s rise, as the force that defines the market in the global real estate system. intellectual

While China’s rise to power seemed almost inevitable in 2008, the speed with which it introduced a world-class patent system was still unexpected. To identify only two of the biggest developments, the country now has a legion of increasingly sophisticated national patent holders and a specialized judicial system that has led an increasing number of foreign rights holders to sue the courts. counterfeiting, which they have long avoided.

Could you have predicted 12 years ago that Qualcomm would win titles worldwide in a multi-million dollar licensing battle with Apple by order in a relatively unknown Chinese court?

Yes, intellectual property has been successful in the recession, but the global patent market is now different from rights holders in the 2008/09 season. What exactly does this mean? I don’t have enough space to examine all the possible consequences (and my predictability cannot be described as going beyond), but some things stand out.

In the short term, this may be difficult for some licensees, especially those in the smallest part of the slightly capitalized spectrum. Simply put, the current crisis has become the last excuse for permanent licensees.

In other words, for some time the money will increase. This may not even be supported by justice systems that glorify pandemic problems, but where it seems inevitable that some cases will be slowed down.

For licensees, especially small NPEs whose funds are exhausted, you can still benefit from the large capital that is currently in the hands of lenders. This will be a controversial financial recession and an even wider range of support cases will open.

For corporate rights holders, particularly the vast majority, who act as cost centers, a further reduction in intellectual property balances will accelerate the tendency to focus their portfolios on fewer and better resources. Many will allow the grant to expire and not be paid for maintenance, while others will no doubt want to sell assets on the secondary market.

Thanks to the revolution in analytics, it has become much easier to determine the real value of your portfolio. This means that rights holders can more easily determine which assets can be repurchased or offered for sale. Thanks to advances in market data analysis, traders, NPEs and other investors can quickly assess the parts of the portfolio they really need.

This is one of the reasons why a great Nortel-style auction is unlikely to appear on cards this time, even if the big player freezes. Why should you agree on thousands of resources when you can target the hundreds you really need and are likely to face the inevitable validity challenges?

Some trends can be seen here and there will probably be others if the full extent of the crisis is clarified. In a completely different patent world, the journey into the unknown continues in many ways.