Aistemos joins LOT Network
We are delighted to announce that Aistemos has joined LOT Network as their 194th member. LOT has created a community of companies who aim to reduce the supply of patents to patent assertion entities (PAEs), aka “patent trolls”. The model is very simple – if a member sells one of its patents to a PAE, that patent is automatically licensed to all other LOT members.
LOT has grown significantly over the past year. Members include most of the automotive manufacturers, including Ford, Daimler, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, VW and Tesla. While joining means that they effectively commit to not selling their patent to trolls, they receive a benefit much more aligned with their goals and objectives – freedom to operate and immunisation from over 800,000 patents.
While you might think the PAE risk had diminished with US patent reform and judicial determinations, the reality is that PAEs are always looking for fresh targets. As we have explored in our recent IAM article exploring the role of patents in a world of autonomous and connected cars, the automotive sector is facing IP challenges of a type not previously experienced. While some of these are wholly unrelated to PAEs, such as SEP licensing, the work of LOT, alongside organisations such as RPX, AST, OIN and Unified Patents are collectively sucking fuel away from PAEs.
While many of the members should come as no surprise (Google, Oracle, SAP, Cisco) – all advocates of less unnecessary patent litigation, this initiative is also proving popular with sectors such as financial services (American Express and JP Morgan are members). We would expect to see more banks and payments companies join, as the Fintech frenzy become a commercial reality. This is a topic that we will be exploring further at the CMS London event on 10 January
We asked Nigel Swycher, CEO of Aistemos what’s in it for start-ups: “ Having a coherent IP strategy is important for all companies. You should start as you mean to continue. Our commitment is turning our investment in IP into Cipher revenue, not to fuelling patent wars. It’s that simple”.
For more information about the LOT Network, visit their website here.