IP Monetization

CATL and CALB Competing in the Power Battery Market – Patent Offenses and Defense War Tend to Be Harsh

As a critical component of electric vehicles, batteries not only affect the endurance and performance of electric vehicles: they are also a key aspect of electric vehicles’ possible popularity in the future. With the rise of the electric vehicle industry, the global power battery field is also gradually moving towards a more mature stage where a hundred schools of thought compete in a rather fierce manner. Both Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) and China Aviation Lithium Electricity Technology Co., Ltd. (formerly known as China Aviation Lithium Battery Co., Ltd., or CALB) are China-based power battery manufacturers. Their batteries are...

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Eugene Lu

Medtronic’s Strategic Investments in Diabetes Business: A More Precise and Patient-Centric Diabetes Care Solution Could Be Expected From the Three Recent Acquisitions.

In 2001, Medtronic strategically acquired Minimed and Medical Research Group to enter the battlefield of diabetes care management. During the last two years, mergers and acquisitions have also expanded its diabetes market.   In 2018, Medtronic acquired Nutrino, a start-up company. It was aiming for Nutrino’s food database and the algorithm for predicting blood glucose after meals. Medtronic will integrate related technologies into its own diabetes products to help diabetes management. In 2019, Medtronic acquired Klue, a start-up company. Klue uses gesture sensing technology to monitor and record users’ eating behavior and give advice on eating behaviors/habits. Recently, Medtronic announced that it...

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Bace Tseng

Funding V.S. Patenting: the Innoviz and Robosense Comparison

The top 5 LiDAR companies combined received a total aggregate funding of over USD 1 billion. [caption id="attachment_7486" align="alignnone" width="865"] Data source: Crunchbase (2020.1.15), edited by WISPRO[/caption] Among the top five companies, two are from the United States; there is one Israeli company, one Chinese company, and one Canadian company. The total funding for the United States companies amounted to about USD 965 million, followed by the Chinese companies with USD 322 million and the Israeli companies with USD 319 million. Israeli company Innoviz Technologies raised the highest amount of total funding with USD 252 million. The average total funding...

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Bace Tseng

Keeping an Eye on Self-Driving Technologies: A LiDAR Perspective

As LiDAR technology develops, Level 5 self-driving cars may become a reality in the near future. Self-driving cars will reduce the probability of accidents; they will also increase the mobility of people with disabilities. Besides, LiDAR technology has additional unexpected applications, such as replacing the controversial US-Mexico wall and being used to maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last few years, the number of LiDAR patent applications has increased significantly. Apart from major market players, such as Waymo, Valeo, Bosch, Denso, Uber, and Baidu, there are many LiDAR companies worth keeping an eye on. Analyzing their patenting activity...

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Eugene Lu

WISPRO Expert Corner 2020/07/21

Fisker changes strategy and plans to use Volkswagen’s MEB platform for $30,000 electric SUV. WISPRO Analyst Eugene Lu: the modularization of automotive components could lower automotive manufacturing costs and benefit startups.   Henrik Fisker is an American automotive designer. His classic works include BMW Z8 and VLF Destino V8. After Henrik participated in Tesla’s body design in 2007, he founded Fisker, an electric vehicle start-up company with the same name. As a result, Tesla filed a lawsuit for the stealing of trade secrets. According to a recent report by Electrek, Fisker not only raised US$50 million but also expects to go public through a reverse merger. These funds will be used for...

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Yolanda Huang

WISPRO Expert Corner 2020/07/17

Are M&A in Semiconductors Trending Again? Verifying M&A Business Strategies via Patent Data On July 13, 2020, Semiconductor chipmaker Analog Devices Inc (ADI) announced it would buy rival company Maxim Integrated Products (MXIM), making it the largest M&A deal in the chipmaking sector this year. Reported by Reuters, the transaction to acquire MXIM will cost ADI about 21 billion, the deal is expected to boost ADI’s market share in self-driving and 5G chips. Interviewed by Reuters, ADI’s Chief Executive Officer, Vincent Roche opined that combining the engineering teams of both companies is expected to enable the design and production of ICs...

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WISPRO Expert Corner 2020/07/09

Survey on Functional Limitations in Japanese Computer Software Related Patents Fellow practitioners who deal with Japanese patent drafting may notice that there seems to be liberal employment of functional limitations in Japanese patent claims; Japanese agents seem to have a soft spot for (pure) functional/intended use/end result claim limitations, regardless of the technical field of the invention. The Japan Patent Office (JPO) recently commissioned the well-known Shiga International Patent Office to conduct a practical research survey on the usage of functional terms in domestic computer software patents. The scope of the survey includes questionnaires for several Japanese companies. The results...

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Alvyn Lin

WISPRO Expert Corner 2020/06/11

Could Heterogeneous Integration Become the Standard in the Semiconductor Industry? According to WISPRO Manager Steven Chang: Industry News and Patent Data Suggest Heterogeneous Integration Is the Key Technology for the Future. As 5G, AI, self-driving vehicles, and data centers are becoming commercialized in various application scenarios. The end product clients (e.g., Apple, Google) are playing a more involved role in chip design, leading to a significant shift in the status quo of the semiconductor supply chain. Subsequently, the IC designers will be requested on demand for diverse and highly customized chips from the end clients. In such a manner, heterogenous integration...

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Jean Chou

WISPRO Expert Corner 2020/06/05

Apple Buys Virtual Reality Company NextVR, What’s Next? WISPRO Manager Jean Chou: Choose M&A Targets by Patent Search and Patent Analysis [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="750"] Photo credit: NextVR[/caption] The COVID-19 epidemic has dramatically changed people’s work and life patterns. AR and VR products have gained a lot of attention recently as they satisfy the requirements of staying at home and working remotely. The acquisition of NextVR—a VR content broadcasting start-up— shows that Apple still has a high degree of interest in VR products, based on CNBC’s report. NextVR is a broadcaster of VR content. If Apple wants to enter the VR market, the acquisition of NextVR would only be the...

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