NEW YORK, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Article One Partners, the world's largest patent research community, recently hosted its first annual conference. The 2010 Napa Valley Summit on Collaborative Litigation Defense was held October 18-20 in Napa, California. Senior Counsels and Intellectual Property (IP) Executives from more than thirty companies participated, including over a dozen Fortune 500 enterprises. Attendees from leading enterprises across industries described the event as a unique opportunity to interact with their peers and to share critical insights. Article One Partners' objective was to drive proactive strategies for collaborative litigation defense and deterrence. Article One Partners also announced the launch of its Litigation Avoidance Offering. The new service leverages Article One Partners' global patent research community to identify, analyze and act on patents to avoid patent litigation.
The event included as keynote speaker Marshall Phelps, who was the Corporate Vice President for IP Policy and Strategy at IBM for 28 years before Bill Gates recruited him to mange Microsoft's IP strategy. Phelps is now an Executive Advisor and Board Member at Article One Partners.
"By nearly all measures, companies are facing an increasing onslaught of patent infringement litigation. Some of the challenging patent issues facing all of us here at the Article One Partners Summit are akin to asymmetric warfare," said Phelps. "In such a conflict, traditional companies need to always be vigilant and consistently win each patent battle... while patent-centric companies only need to assert a patent and win occasionally."
Mr. Phelps went on to say that the companies in attendance are simultaneously customers, suppliers, partners, and competitors of each other. "The business and legal environment has changed significantly," Phelps continued. "We have larger interests that demand a degree of information and resource sharing—even a measure of collaborative defense—that might have been unthinkable 5 years ago. Today's evolving conditions require a changed response."
Attending executives were provided a forum for discussing many industry-wide patent disputes and for exploring collaborative means to avoiding costly patent litigation.
"We set out to drive collaboration among our client base and other leaders in the IP industry, and the dynamic insights of attendees exceeded our expectations. There was immediate interest in collaborating on joint defense against patent infringement claims, and uniting on defense and deterrence of the growing problem of patent litigation across multiple defendants," said Cheryl Milone, CEO and founder of Article One Partners. "When the Napa Summit concluded, the group voiced an interest in transitioning from discussion to execution. So we're establishing the Collaboration Litigation Defense Group that will extend this collaboration year-round in addition to the annual Summit. Article One Partners is also launching our new Litigation Avoidance Service to help clients leverage the millions of Article One Partners Researchers around the world who can bring new evidence of patent validity to light."
Through periodic meetings, the new Collaboration Litigation Defense Group will continue discussions on collaboration, joint defense, common legal counsel, litigation insurance, and other key topics and defense tactics. Key industry executives are the founding members of the group and many in attendance at the Summit requested participation in the group.
Article One Partners Launches New Litigation Avoidance Service
Article One Partners announced the launch of Litigation Avoidance, its new patent research service. Leveraging the global reach and proven success of Article One Partners' research community, Litigation Avoidance will help companies avoid patent litigation by identifying, analyzing, and acting on patents of dubious quality. The offering focuses on proactive action related to industry patents rather than responding solely to litigation assertions. Industry members can gain the benefit of evidence gathered by Article One Partners' global community. However, these members can continue to take individual action, including settlement or negotiation, based on individual relationship between parties in pre- or post-litigation contexts.
"I have always supported the position that companies should be more proactive and collaborative in defending against third party patent assertions. This conference and Article One Partners' Litigation Avoidance offering are a significant step in this direction," said attendee Brian Hinman, former Vice President of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Verizon Communications.
About Article One Partners
Article One Partners, LLC is the only patent validation company to employ an online human search engine community. More than one million people, networked across the globe, uncover previously undisclosed patent quality evidence. Article One Partners' research community represents a unique pool of domain experts. These experts submit new invalidity evidence for the opportunity to earn rewards of $5,000 to $50,000 per research project and also to share in the company's net annual profit. These incentives drive prior art research beyond the reach of traditional sources, to non-digitized and foreign language publications. AOP clients sponsor research to resolve patent litigation, strengthen pending patents and support crucial patent quality issues. www.ArticleOnePartners.com.
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