Greetings to our colleagues, clients and friends!
Happy New (Jewish) Year - Shana Tova! Wishing all of you peace, success and prosperity in the year to come.
In this newsletter, we highlight the "IP in IPO" topic, which has been the subject of our recent activity and research around the correlation between IP holdings and startup valuations. In our
Foresight in the Media
section, we have included two articles that cover a webinar I gave to the LES High Tech Sector, and an interview that I gave on this topic to the IAM magazine. Also in this newsletter is our
IP News Digest,
highlighting stories from our Twitter feed, covering some interesting trademark stories - from Lebron's efforts to trademark "Taco Tuesday" to the WeWork CEO returning millions of dollars that his company paid him for using the "We" trademark.
Finally, we are looking forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming LES Annual Meeting in Phoenix Arizona.
Foresight in the Media
Two recent articles highlight Foresight's work in the area of IP and startup valuations. The "IP in IPO" topic specifically relates to work we have done to update a
2015 study of Unicorn IP holdings,
while following up the patenting strategy of these Unicorns that have gone public.
Generally speaking, as I have been quoted in the IAM Magazine article entitled:
Why Startups Should Get Serious About Patent Protection
the theory that we have developed is that Unicorns change their patenting behavior as they approach an exit event (acquisition or IPO) or as they enter a new market. This change of behavior manifests itself in increased awareness of developing a strong patent position, which seems to be coordinated with the increase in valuation prior to the exit event. In the most recent
IP in IPO: Lessons Learned from Recent Unicorn Public Exits, Webinar
I presented a few of our observations; most interestingly we are finding that Unicorns who engaged in buying patents (a phenomenon known as "backfilling") have managed to close the gap with incumbent IP holders much more efficiently than Unicorns who opted to rely solely on organic filing.
For a full version of the IP in IPO webinar, please visit
IP News Digest
After analyzing thousands of recorded workout classes, music publishers discover an additional 1,200 songs allegedly infringed and file an amended complaint. The amended complaint was requested in New York federal court against tech-enabled exercise bike startup Peloton to include new co-plaintiffs and add more than 1,200 musical works that the company is alleged to have infringed in workout videos.
On Aug. 15, a company called LBJ Trademarks LLC filed a request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on behalf of Mr. James to trademark "Taco Tuesday." The company seeks protection for use of the phrase in a host of forums, including "downloadable audio/visual works," podcasts, social media, online marketing and "entertainment services."
A Molecule Designed by AI Exhibits 'Druglike' Qualities
Alex Zhavoronkov, CEO of Insilico Medicine, a startup that generates potential drugs using artificial intelligence, was recently given a challenge by one of his pharma company partners. His team would see how quickly Insilico's AI could identify new molecules that bind with a protein associated with tissue scarring. Then they'd put the molecules to the test, synthesizing a few of them in the lab to see if the AI was onto something, or only dreaming.
Traeger Grills CEO Jeremy Andrus said he bears no ill will toward members of the Traeger family who, now two sales removed from the company, went to work last year for a competing pellet grill company.
But, Andrus does have a problem with the Traeger name, some iconic branding images and a number of design characteristics unique to the company being used in ways he believes are blatant violations of Traeger Grill's intellectual property rights.
WeWork CEO Adam Neumann has returned about $5.9 million worth of stock that was originally paid to him to acquire the trademark "We."
amended S-1 filing
on Wednesday, WeWork's parent company, the We Company, noted that it was unwinding the agreement "at Adam's direction." The $5.9 million was issued to Neumann after WeWork
rebranded to the We Company
Call for Speakers
We are looking for speakers to join some of our upcoming events. If any of the descriptions below fits your qualifications, please respond to this email (
) with the email header "Speaker Opportunity":
- Corporate M&A expert, ideally from an operating company in the high-tech or life sciences sectors, who can discuss the valuation and taxation aspects of the deal, either around IP or in general (for event on October 21st, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona)
- Startup expert (focusing on Unicorns or similar high value startups), who is either an entrepreneur, an investor or a lawyer, who can address the IP strategy of the startup and how it impacts its growth and valuation (for event in March 2020 in Dallas, Texas).
When: October 20-23, 2019
JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa,
When: October 31, 2019 @ 10am PT / 1pm ET