IP monetization refers to a wide range of activities to realize value from intellectual property rights ownership. It includes traditional licenses, IP auctions, investors that finance IP development or litigation, patent assertion entities (PAEs), patent pools, strategic IP acquisition companies and invention capital companies that provide capital and expertise to develop inventions in which they then hold an interest. These various IP monetization activities generally involve some form of acquisition of IP rights, either by license or assignment, and the realization of revenues from those IP rights, either by license or recovery of infringement damages. Traditional licenses, IP auctions, PAEs, pools, and IP acquisition companies all fall within one or both of these categories. Antitrust risks arise in the aggregation and licensing of IP rights. This article reviews the general principles in the antitrust analysis of typical IP monetization transactions.
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