RFID Journal: New Report on RFID Intellectual Property
Posted By Mark Roberti, RFID Journal
I received an e-mail last week from a company called Innography, which offers an online intellectual-property (IP) business-intelligence application designed to enable "companies of all types and sizes to achieve the optimal return on their IP investments." The firm produces weekly reports on IP topics, and reached out to me because it had written a report covering RFID IP.
Why focus on RFID? I asked. "Recently, we've had an increase of searches based around the RFID industry," explained Tyron Stading, Innography's founder and CTO, "and we felt we should provide a complimentary high-level overview to our customers."
It's interesting that more people are focusing on RFID IP issues. According to Stading, the key RFID patent holders right now are Avery Dennison, IBM and Motorola Solutions. "Samsung, Hitachi and Siemens have much smaller portfolios than IBM and Motorola," he says. "However, they also have significantly more revenue than Motorola. This makes them potential 'out licensing' candidates, because they have less intellectual property in this space, but the resources to acquire it. They also have an incentive to strengthen their competitive position, since they don't have as strong a portfolio."
Innography's litigation report provides an overview of litigation trends in the RFID industry. Who would be interested in this report? "Whether your concern is mergers and acquisitions, technology partnering, out licensing or bringing new products to market," Stading says, "understanding who is most litigious is critical to your success."
RFID IP issues differ from those of other technologies in one way, Stading notes: "RFID is an interesting blend of high technology with supply chain management issues, which previously might not have been exposed to IP issues as much as some industries. Since non-technology company processes are becoming more efficient with RFID technology, it is a growth opportunity, and intellectual property is a key battleground."
He adds, "Retail stores and supply chains are already being sued for lack of IP protection, and high-technology companies are well-versed in the value of IP for their other products. This crossroads shows a great example of why IP is key to product-development strategy and risk awareness for RFID adopters."
Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog, the Editor's Note archive or RFID Connect. - See more at: http://www.rfidjournal.com/blogs/rfid-journal/entry?8511#sthash.P09L1UZ4.dpuf