Coleman Bazelon, a principal in Brattle’s Washington, DC office, has co-authored an article on patent auctions published in the March 2010 issue of les Nouvelles, the quarterly journal of the Licensing Executives Society International. The article, “Patent Auctions: How Far Have We Come?” analyzes the structure of Ocean Tomo, LLC’s live patent auctions, which began in April 2006, and describes the results, successes, and limitations of the first ten auctions.

The article explains that while the use of auctions as a tool for transferring patent rights has been successful in generating revenue (more than $114 million for Ocean Tomo since 2006), the volume and size of patent transfers has been limited, especially recently. Because of these limitations and the complex nature of patents, the authors conclude that conventional transfer mechanisms are unlikely to be replaced by the auction format used by Ocean Tomo in the near future.

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