Brayer Discusses Maximizing the Value of an IP Portfolio at WISACCA Conference

At the annual conference of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (WISACCA), Boyle Fredrickson shareholder Michael Brayer collaborated with Zhibin Ren of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company to discuss how companies can maximize the value provided by their intellectual property portfolios using real world examples of business method patents.

Ren described business method patents in the context of the insurance industry and how these types of patents are being used to protect researched and developed methods of conducting business. Serving a unique niche in the patent world, business method patents tend to have an important impact on the way commercial activity is conducted. These patents are most often issued for automated financial or data management processing methods.

In their presentation, “What Every In-House Lawyer Needs to Know about Using IP Portfolios,” Brayer and Ren reported the insurance industry, as well as other industries across the spectrum, are seeing an increase in the number of business method patents issued—and the number of business method patents applied for by competing corporations. As such, they forecasted that these patents will increasingly affect the manner in which companies conduct their business, particularly since the number of infringement litigation cases revolving around such patents could also rise.

“Business patent disputes can be particularly costly. For high profile cases, attorney fees can escalate into the millions,” explained Brayer, who noted damages in some well-known cases like RIM ($600 million), Hartford ($80 million) and Transamerica ($13 million) have been extraordinary. “It is important for companies that value the intellectual property behind their methodologies to understand how existing and potential patents might affect their business. Companies can often structure their patent portfolio specifically to capitalize on or even avoid these types of disputes.”

In addition to business process method patents, Brayer and Ren discussed IP usage trends in expanding and contracting markets, how to convert intellectual property into revenue and details behind obtaining particular patents, copyrights and trademarks. For more information about maximizing the value of an IP portfolio and business method patents, contact your Boyle Fredrickson attorney. To discuss the particulars of the WISACCA talk or obtain a copy of the presentation, contact Michael Brayer.


About Boyle Fredrickson

Established in 1999, Boyle Fredrickson has grown to become Wisconsin’s largest intellectual property law firm. You’ve got ideas, we protect them.

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