Tech Transfer Central

IP Litigation Financing: Risks and Benefits for Universities

Format: On-Demand Video, DVD, or PDF Transcript
Originally presented: February 20, 2020

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When it comes to fighting against patent infringement, universities have always had one hand tied behind their backs. Facing corporate opponents with huge legal budgets and teams of attorneys — and knowing the massive costs of litigation in both dollars and distraction from their core mission, not to mention potential damage to relationships and reputation – most schools cannot afford to go the distance to protect their IP in court.

Infringers are well aware of this unlevel playing field, and they make a strategic calculation that the risk of a legal challenge is less than the cost of a license. In most cases, they’re right: Universities do not have the financial resources to defend their valuable patent rights and obtain fair value for the use of the technology they worked so hard to develop. Universities are left with the large expense and effort of developing life-changing technology, while receiving very little in return.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the advent and growth of litigation financing options, universities can level the playing field and fight back. The results can be not only huge dollar awards, but also a stronger firewall against infringers.

A growing number of schools are opting for litigation financing, and winning. Most recently, the University of California system and UC-Santa Barbara are using the financing option to back their extremely valuable LED filament light bulb patents against not only General Electric but also retailers who sell the infringed products, including Amazon, Walmart, Target, Ikea, and Bed Bath & Beyond. UC sees the case – the first “direct enforcement” campaign against an entire industry – as more than just a lawsuit, but rather as the tip of the spear in “a broader, national response to the existential threat” posed by “widespread disregard” of university patent rights.

To help university TTOs and administrators understand and evaluate this strategy, Tech Transfer Central’s Distance Learning Division has teamed up with an expert on litigation financing to bring you this critical webinar:

IP Litigation Financing: Risks and Benefits for Universities

This webinar will discuss strategies for monetizing your university’s IP rights through a financed litigation approach, creating a level playing field against deep-pocketed infringers without risking a big hit to university coffers. Here is a sneak peek at the agenda:

  • How to identify which patents can be monetized
  • The process of obtaining litigation finance, including what can be funded and how the funder is re-paid
  • The benefits of using litigation finance compared to hiring a full-fee contingency law firm
  • How a litigation finance firm’s evaluation of your case can serve as a strong indicator of success or failure
  • Why the UC-Santa Barbara action could help change the university IP litigation landscape
  • How to manage the risks of litigation, including protecting reputational risks
  • How to control the public messaging in order to put the university’s campaign in the best light.

Meet Your Program Leader:

Russell J. GenetRussell J. Genet
Director
Longford Capital

Russ is responsible for investment sourcing, underwriting and monitoring. He is an accomplished attorney with nearly 20 years experience representing corporate clients in defending and monetizing intellectual property rights in a wide array of industries, including electronics, computers, software, telecommunications, medical devices and many others.

Russ has significant experience litigating complex intellectual property matters in federal courts throughout the United States, and before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He has also prosecuted patent applications and represented clients in interferences, ex parte reexaminations, and inter partes reviews at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Russ has been recognized in 2017 as an Illinois Super Lawyer for IP Litigation. Prior to joining Longford Capital, Russ was a partner in the international law firm, Nixon Peabody LLP. While at Nixon Peabody, Russ served as the national leader of the firm’s IP Litigation practice group.

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