As enterprises around the world pour more money into inquiry and invention to stay competitive, the need for analyzing the worthiness of R&D expenses also grows. One company serving that function is PatSnap. When co-founder Jeffrey Tiong was working in the medical devices industry more than a decade ago, he realized how disquisitional intellectual belongings […]

Equally enterprises effectually the world pour more than money into inquiry and invention to stay competitive, the need for analyzing the worthiness of R&D expenses besides grows.

One company serving that part is PatSnap. When co-founder Jeffrey Tiong was working in the medical devices industry more than than a decade agone, he realized how disquisitional intellectual property and patents were in the tech world.

In 2007, Tiong launched PatSnap in Singapore to build a global patent search database and overtime pushed the firm into adjacent realms. PatSnap’s more than recent software, which Tiong dubs “innovation intelligence,” helps enterprises analyze their R&D strategies, keep runway of competitors, and place potential partners past crunching data around the likes of scientific papers, authorities R&D grants and startup funding news.

“What we found is that a lot of companies [treat] innovation as a department, as a function, every bit a KPI in an organization,” said Tiong. “Many companies are hiring people… who have to find out what kind of technology is out there and who is doing what. Yous cannot exercise everything by yourself nowadays. Y’all need to partner.”

Investors are paying attention to the R&D boom. In PatSnap’s latest funding circular, the company attracted SoftBank’s Vision Fund II and Tencent as lead investors. The Series Eastward round totals $300 million, with participation from CITIC Industrial Fund, which is office of Chinese state-owned conglomerate CITIC Group; Sequoia People’s republic of china; Xiaomi founder Lei Jun’southward Shunwei Capital; and Vertex Ventures.

Masayoshi Son spent less than half an hour on a phone call with Tiong before the billionaire founder of SoftBank hammered out a deal for PatSnap. In his early twenties, Son invented and patented a device that he sold for $1 million, so “he understands the importance of inventions, IP and innovation,” Tiong said.

Tiong declined to disembalm PatSnap’s post-money valuation in an interview with TechCrunch but said the number has crossed $1 billion.

The United States is PatSnap’southward largest market,
although People’s republic of china is chop-chop growing as a revenue stream amongst the land’s patent filing spree. In 1999, the World Intellectual Holding Organization (WIPO) received
just 276 applications
from China. By 2022, that number rose to 58,990, surpassing that of the United States.

But compared with their western counterparts, Chinese corporations are less inclined to pay big bucks for software, which makes it challenging for SaaS companies to monetize in the country. PatSnap operates under the brand Zhihuiya in China, with customers ranging from retail brands, enquiry institutes, AI firms to pharmaceutical giants.

The sheer number of patents doesn’t interpret conveniently into technological clout. The U.South. is yet ahead of People’s republic of china in terms of R&D expenditure, Tiong observed. Furthermore, “the quality of the patents in Red china is not every bit stiff and a lot of them are increment innovation instead of groundbreaking types of invention,” he added.

PatSnap says information technology at present has more than 10,000 customers in over 50 countries, with a 700-person workforce spread beyond the U.S., Europe, Canada, Japan and China. Some of its notable customers include Tesla, General Electrical, Siemens, Dyson, PalPal, Spotify and Megvii. With the fresh capital, the company plans to further develop products, larn more domain expertise, aggrandize global sales presence and invest in human being capital letter.

EV startup Damon Motorcycles has acquired the IP of Mission Motors, raised $3 million in funding and appear a special production run of its debut model. The Vancouver-based venture unveiled the 200 mph Hypersport in Jan and began taking pre-orders for the e-moto, with a base cost of $24,995. Damon has positioned its EV entry […]

EV startup Damon Motorcycles has acquired the IP of Mission Motors, raised $3 million in funding and announced a special production run of its debut model.

The Vancouver-based venture unveiled the 200 mph Hypersport in Jan and began taking pre-orders for the e-moto, with a base price of $24,995. Damon has positioned its EV entry every bit an ultra-fast, smart and safe motorcycle.

In improver to its get-direct-to-jail top-speed, the Hypersport boasts 200 miles of highway range, 147 ft-lbs of torque, charges to 80% in xx minutes and weighs less than 500 pounds, Damon CEO Jay Giraud

told TechCrunch earlier this yr.

These features, along with digitally controlled riding-modes, are just part of Damon’s signature. The seed-stage startup has likewise engineered the cloud-connected Hypersport with proprietary safety and ergonomics technology that provide adjustable riding positions and blind-spot detection.

Image Credits: Damon Motorcycles

Damon packed a lot into its latest annunciation and shared some insight on appealing to the elusive millennial market and weathering the economic tremors of the COVID-19 crisis.

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On the acquisition, the startup purchased the IP of Mission Motors, a now defunct San Francisco due east-motorcycle venture that powered downward in 2015. Though Mission’s EV development outran its capital, the company’s motorcycles achieved a number of functioning benchmarks and captured the attention of Jay Leno.

Mission Motors

was also i of first eastward-moto companies to roll into the competition arena, fielding an entry in the famed Isle of Human TT race in 2009.

Damon will draw on Mission’s product and racing tech, including the visitor’southward total stack development for EV drive-trains and bombardment power.

“There are certain bits of that we’re going to scroll into the commercialized Hypersport,” Damon COO Derek Derek Dorresteyn told Techcrunch on a call with CEO Jay Giraud.

“Specifically, we’re using the motor development that they had equally a platform to advance our motor design…We’re looking at achieving 12 newton-meters per kilogram of torque output from an electrical motor,” Dorresteyn said.

Giraud explained that could translate to Damon producing an electric motorcycle with roughly 160 kilowatts of power, 200 horsepower and 200 ft-lbs of torque. That would outdo one of the fastest product e-motorcycles, Energica’southward EGO, with 145 horsepower and 159 ft-lbs of torque.

Energica’s Ego, Image Credits: TechCrunch

On funding, Damon Motors at present has $3 million in additional capital, raised at the pre-seed level from undisclosed angel investors.

The startup will apply the backing on product development and accelerating time to market place, Giraud said.

Damon’s founder also noted that the company was on rail to make full its initial target of chiliad pre-orders for both its Hypersport standard and Premiere models. As such, the startup will extend orders on a limited run, $34,995 Hypersport Premiere founder edition in two dissimilar colour-schemes: Arctic Sun and Midnight Sun.

Damon is highlighting the demographics of those placing deposits on its Hypersport east-motorcycles.

“One-half the people ordering are under the historic period of 40,” said Giraud. “It actually speaks to product marketplace fit.”

The power to draw
millennials to motorbike purchases is significant, given they’ve been the hardest market segment to crack. You
ng buyers used to be a mainstay of the manufacture, but the final 10 years have seen abrupt declines in motorcycle ownership past everyone under 40, according to
Motorcycle Industry Council

Damon believes its proprietary tech and plans for a direct-to-consumer sales and service model can attract affluent younger buyers and the Tesla

crowd to its fast and safe motorcycles.

Though TechCrunch hasn’t yet ridden a Hypersport, the 2-wheeler’southward specs offer unique features compared to any current production gas or electric motorcycle.
On safe, Damon’s CoPilot arrangement uses sensors, radar and cameras to track moving objects around the motorcycle and alert riders to danger.

Damon Motorcycles Hypersport Sensors

Image Credits: Damon Motorcycles

The startup’s debut EV also brings smart ergonomics in Damon’due south patented Shift system that allows riders to electronically adapt the motorcycle’southward windscreen, seat, foot-pegs and handlebars to different riding positions and conditions.

Even with the demand Damon has seen for the Hypersport, it still faces a stagnant motorcycle market that has become crowded with EV competitors.

Harley Davidson introduced its all electrical LiveWire in 2022, becoming the get-go of the large gas manufacturers to offering a street-legal east-moto for sale in the U.S.

Harley’s entry followed several failed electrical motorcycle startups — including Mission Motors — and put information technology in the market place with existing EV ventures, such as Italia’due south Energica and U.S. startup Zero  — which launched its $19,000, 120 mph SR/F in 2022.

On summit of strong competition in the e-moto space, there’due south a growing uncertainty on the buying appetite for motorcycles of any kind that could exist for the balance of 2020, and potentially beyond, given the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world.

As of this week, Harley Davidson had halted all motorcycle production due the coronavirus and Energica confirmed to TechCrunch information technology had shutdown all operations per a decree of the Italian government.

Zero Motorcycles — located in Scott’s Valley, California — is still producing motorcycles “following the standard health orders of the CDC”, according to a company spokesperson.

Damon’southward leadership believes the company tin can power through whatever lies ahead. The company has a global supply-chain beyond Europe, Asia and North America, simply builds its battery packs and assembles its motorcycles in Canada

“There are real challenges to become anyone to do anything today. We don’t look that to be truthful forever,” COO
Derek Dorresteyn said of supply-chain and meeting production demand.

CEO Jay Giraud believes the current situation with COVID-nineteen will likely create an economic slump that could drag on longer than the 2008 Slap-up Recession.

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On how Damon Motorcycles will manage, “Like every core startup in the world, we’re gonna accept to heighten a lot of coin no affair what. Just we’re in a good place right now,” he said.

Bryant Lee, Ed Steakley & Saleh Kaihani Contributor Bryant Lee is the co-founder and managing partner of Noesis IP, a YC-backed IP law business firm for startups. Ed Steakley was the Head of IP at Airware and Senior Patent Counsel at Apple tree. Saleh Kaihani is a partner at Cognition IP. Deciding what to patent can be […]

Deciding what to patent can be a disruptive process just by creating a formal process it is something that every startup can manage.

Intellectual belongings (IP) is ane of the most valuable assets of a startup and patents are ofttimes chief amongst IP in terms of value. Patents let the startup to forbid competitors from using their engineering, which is a powerful characteristic that can grant unique advantages in the market place.

From a business organization perspective, patents can help with driving investment and acquisitions, provide protection during partnerships and concern deals, and help defend itself against patent lawsuits past others.

Notwithstanding, startups also often have a hard fourth dimension determining when and what to patent. Innovative startups are inventing new things on a regular basis, and in that location is a danger of slipping into a haphazard approach of patenting any happens to be available rather than systematically analyzing the business needs of the company and protecting the IP that moves the needle the near.

Moreover, startups must balance the need to protect IP with other areas of the business organization: Patents are complex documents that crave an investment of time and resources to obtain. They often require specialized legal counsel to write and a lengthy test process at the U.Southward. Patent & Trademark Role (USPTO).

This article is a how-to guide for startups to make the decision on when and what to patent with a mature approach to IP strategy.

Table of Contents

  • Creating a regular IP harvesting procedure
  • Invention cataloging and scoring
  • The scoring system
  • Conclusion

Creating a regular IP harvesting process

Index 02

In order to brand a decision nigh what to patent, a startup must start know what IP information technology has. For very small teams, it may exist possible for anybody to have a shared idea of the IP. However, once teams grow across a few people, it is no longer possible to have consummate visibility into what everyone on the team is doing and potentially inventing. Therefore, a regular IP harvesting process must be put in place to ensure proper reporting of IP to the executive level.

Most startups are best served with a elementary IP harvesting process involving only 3 steps: (one) disclosure (2) invention review and (three) patent filing. In the disclosure stage, employees who are in IP creation roles must exist trained to disclose ideas that are potentially protectable IP.

When a company hires talent away from a competitor, onboarding the new employee tin pose significant legal risks for both the visitor and the new employee. A fundamental attribute of Silicon Valley is…

When a company hires talent away from a competitor, onboarding the new employee can pose pregnant legal risks for both the company and the new employee. A fundamental aspect of Silicon Valley is that employees are mostly free to move between competitors.

This unrestricted motility of talent facilitates the robust competition that helps drive the Silicon Valley economy. While this is no doubt positive, unfettered employment mobility likewise creates unique challenges when it comes to protecting a visitor’s trade secrets, which are the lifeblood of many Silicon Valley companies.

Considering of California’southward policies regarding costless employment mobility, dissimilar in most other states, California companies cannot protect their trade secrets with non-compete contracts. So, they instead rely heavily on trade secret laws for protection.

And, of course, when trade clandestine theft occurs, it is often when an employee transitions from 1 company to some other. Thus, when a key employee gives observe that he or she is leaving for a competitor, it sets off alarm bells for the before long-to-be quondam visitor.

Unfortunately, because of the hypersensitivity to protecting trade secrets, many departing employees who take no interest in actually taking their former company’southward trade secrets get accused of theft. This accusation can trigger a long, stressful, expensive legal process for both the employee and the new visitor, and sometimes cost the employee his or her reputation and new job.

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This article explains how this state of affairs arises and provides some practical considerations for how the employee transitioning jobs, and the onboarding company, tin can avert an unnecessary legal fight.

1. California companies’ ambitious protection of merchandise secrets.

DVR maker TiVo is preparing to carve up its company into ii businesses: ane, focused on its products like its Commodities family unit of DVRs, and the other on its licensing and intellectual property businesses. The move will help to accost some of the complexities with those businesses, TiVo Interim CEO Raghu Rau, explained, which may brand […]

DVR maker TiVo is preparing to split its company into two businesses: one, focused on its products like its Bolt family unit of DVRs, and the other on its licensing and intellectual property businesses. The motion volition aid to accost some of the complexities with those businesses, TiVo

Interim CEO Raghu Rau, explained, which may make it more attractive to buyers.

By splitting the company into two, TiVo may be able to “facilitate strategic transactions,” with interested parties, Rau said, on the company’due south Q4 earnings call this week with investors.

The CEO also noted that TiVo was in active discussions with parties who were interested in each its product and its IP businesses, but the overall strategic review process – which began a year agone – was taking longer than TiVo had anticipated.

“So nosotros do concord that this process has taken longer than we had hoped particularly because of the complication and uniqueness of our two businesses,” Rau told investors. “We’re hoping that we’ll give you another update the next quarter based on the ongoing discussions that we are having. Merely beyond that, I’1000 non willing to put a time limit on when this volition happen because the interest of the Lath and the management is to ensure that we get the best outcome for the shareholders and that’s what this whole review process has been focused on,” he said.

The issue seems to exist that potential acquirers may want either the licensing business or the products business concern, but not both.

Co-ordinate to a report from LightReading, that’s definitely the case with potential buyers, sources told them. In addition, TiVo was described equally being reluctant to move forrard on anything pregnant until it knew more than about the outcomes of its legal battles with Comcast over licensing and patents.

Rau noted that TiVo hadn’t really appear that TiVo is separating, just that it’due south now working on the various logistics issues that have to be addressed in order to separate the business, like the preparation of historical financials, audits and understanding of tax implications.

The visitor also said information technology ruled out a “transformative acquisition” a couple of quarters into its ongoing strategic review process, which began in February 2022.

TiVo itself was acquired by Rovi Corp. for $1.1 billion in 2016, and the combined entity kept the proper name TiVo. The bargain enhanced TiVo’s patent portfolio, and today nine of the top 10 pay Television service providers in the U.Due south. license its portfolio of IP, except for Comcast, whose license lapsed (which is why it’s in the courts.)

Given the relative recency of that merger, TiVo’s decision to now dissever the business once more strongly hints that it’s had trouble finding a deal for the company every bit it stands today.

TiVo remains a household proper name, thank you to its line of TiVo branded DVRs which cater to pay TV subscribers and string cutters alike. But the company has made some missteps along the manner, as it tried to go on upwards with the increasingly competitive marketplace. For case, in an effort to differentiate itself, its newer Commodities DVR adopted an odd, angled shape that some institute aesthetically displeasing. That matters, of form, because these DVRs have to be on display in your living room. (Dissimilar, says, Amazon’southward new Burn Goggle box Recast which tin can be subconscious abroad in a back room of the house.)

In addition, TiVo’s model which relies on monthly subscriptions (or a larger “lifetime” fee) are harder for consumers to stomach at a time when there’due south then much pick among media devices.

Combined with the larger shift abroad from pay TV and consumer adoption of players like Roku and Amazon Fire Boob tube – even among pay TV subscribers – TiVo’south business concern is non what information technology in one case was.

The company in its earnings reported this Tuesday brought in a loss of $2.33 per share to end financial year 2022. In the year-ago quarter, TiVo had posted a profit of 28 cents. Its acquirement for the menstruum was $168.46 meg, 21 per centum downwardly from Q4 2017, and under analysts’ estimates of $173.85 1000000.