A unique package that combines legal, funding, risk assessment and research services was launched yesterday to help intellectual property (IP) owners monetise their patents.
The solicitor behind it branded it a “radical step forward in patent litigation funding”.
Five businesses have joined forces to launch HLP³: London law firm Olswang, litigation funder Caprica, after-the-event (ATE) insurance risk assessors Thomas Miller, funding broker TheJudge and US patent and research company HLP Integration. Leading IP lawyer Peter Rouse is a consultant to HLP³.
The brainchild of Olswang patent litigator Campbell Forsyth, HLP³ offers all the elements an IP owner would need to bring together themselves to evaluate whether there are infringements worth pursuing in the courts.
HLP³ has a focus on patents registered in Europe and particularly the UK and Germany. It costs IP owners £3,500 to enter the process, which begins with HLP producing an expert report on the validity of the patent, the products and processes which may infringe it, and the likely quantum of damages.
If the results are promising, it is sent to Olswang to assess the prospects of success of legal action. If these meet certain criteria, the case will pass to Thomas Miller for a further risk assessment, with TheJudge – which has close ties with Thomas Miller – brokering the ATE.
Once ATE insurance is approved, the patent owner can exercise an option agreement, entered into at the outset, requiring Caprica to fund the proposed litigation, which Olswang will handle. The whole process is expected to take no more than three to four months.
Patent owners are being urged to enter the process by the end of the year so that any case can be started before the recoverability of ATE insurance ends in April 2013.
Mr Forsyth said: “The HLP³ solution is a radical step forward in patent litigation funding. It has aligned the interests of all involved enabling those with patent rights access to the courts to release the value from their innovations. HLP³ has been designed to fund not only High Court cases but also smaller Patents County Court claims.”
Hy Hetherington, chief executive of HLP Integration, said: “HLP³ allows individual inventors, small companies and large businesses alike to utilise a simplified and efficient way to monetise their inventions.”