Impact of Intellectual Property Rights on Valuations for Public CompaniesExclusive Interview with
Maurice Ross, Barton Barton & Plotkin LLP
According to Maurice Ross, a partner at the firm of Barton, Barton & Plotkin LLP, “One of the most important issues that companies face is the disconnect between stock prices and the value of their intellectual property.”
In this exclusive LegalMindsTV interview, filmed at the NASDAQ MarketSite, Ross discusses how significant changes in the regulatory environment will continue to have an impact on intellectual property rights and the role that will play on stock prices, directors liability, M&A activity and litigation costs.
“Companies need to look at this from both an offensive and defensive point of view,” explains Ross. “From a defensive point of view, there are often competitors who have acquired or may acquire in the near future intellectual property rights that can actually put a company out of business, depress a company’s profits or interfere with its ability to market a product or service.”
“On the offensive side, the issue is whether the company is doing a sufficient job to obtain, procure and enforce its own intellectual property rights. Additionally, does the company have a realistic understanding of the value of the patents, trademarks and other intellectual property rights that are owned.”
Ross explains that one of the challenges that companies face in analyzing the value of their intellectual property is the changing landscape in terms of the legal standards that are applied to analyzing patents. Most notably, decisions such as KSR, in which the Supreme Court effectively made it much easier to prove the patents are obvious, and Bilski, which made it more difficult to obtain business method patents and adopted a standard that would make it very difficult in the future to know whether your business method patent is really valid or not.
Additional legal challenges include statutes allowing whistleblowers to report executives for failing to conduct due diligence or failing to disclose the truth about the value of the company’s intellectual property rights. Ross recommends that appropriate due diligence be conducted in connection with financial reporting on the value of intellectual properties, noting that this becomes particularly important today as we see more and more mergers and acquisitions between large companies and smaller companies that can contribute to the pipeline of new products for larger companies, particularly in biotech.
Another growing distraction as companies try and get a control internally on IP issues is the problem of “patent trolls,” which has become a topic of controversy within the intellectual property world. Though one thing everyone seems to agree on is their effect on litigation costs. According to Ross, the average cost of patent litigations, from beginning to end, is between $4 million to $10 million per case. So in in addition to managing your IP portfolio, is also important at the same time for companies to “find mechanisms for truly controlling the structural costs, not just cosmetic approaches.”
View and download a PDF transcript of the full interview here. (Coming soon.)
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Partner, Barton Barton & Plotkin LLP
For nearly three decades, Mr. Ross has represented corporate and individual clients in numerous high profile, sophisticated intellectual property and commercial litigations. In recent years, Mr. Ross has served as lead trial and appellate counsel in high-stakes patent and intellectual property litigation involving major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Mr. Ross has also handled trademark and copyright cases for clients in a wide variety of industries, including clients in the fashion, media, entertainment, computer and software industries. Although he focuses his practice in the area of intellectual property, Mr. Ross has also served as lead counsel in complex securities, RICO, lender liability, antitrust, real estate and matrimonial cases, and he has extensive experience representing corporate executives and other individuals in white collar criminal defense.
Mr. Ross also has frequently been called upon to advise clients regarding the risks and benefits of proposed mergers, acquisitions and other transactions. Mr. Ross is also recognized as an expert on disputes relating to the attorney-client privilege and work product immunity, and he has been counsel of record in landmark decisions in this area. More recently, Mr. Ross has advised domestic and international clients concerning how to successfully and efficiently address the challenges and burdens imposed by electronic discovery. Mr. Ross has published frequently in the areas of intellectual property, patent law and the attorney-client privilege.
Mr. Ross has long been a proponent for using alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for efficient resolution of complex business disputes, at both the trial and appellate levels. Further, given the economic realities and costs of conducting complex patent and commercial litigation, Mr. Ross encourages his clients from the earliest stages of litigation to attempt to aggressively pursue settlement. By the same token, Mr. Ross has long advocated aggressive use of the pre-trial discovery process to improve his clients’ likelihood of success at trial, and in recent years he has focused extensively on how to use emerging technologies to make the pre-trial discovery process more efficient and cost-effective.
Mr. Ross has appeared in the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the District of New Jersey, the District of Colorado and the Northern District of California, and he has argued appeals in the United States Courts of Appeals for the Federal, Second and Fifth Circuits, as well as State courts in New York.Prior to joining Barton, Barton & Plotkin, Mr. Ross was a shareholder with Budd Larner and practiced at Clifford Chance and Sullivan and Cromwell.
Intellectual Property Litigation
White Collar Criminal Defense
State of New York, 1981
State of New Jersey, 2004
US Courts of Appeals for the Federal, Second And Fifth Circuits
US District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, District of New Jersey, District of Colorado
To see a full bio, visit: http://www.bartonesq.com/bio-Mross.html
“Intellectual Property Cost Control Counsel—Addressing the Structural Components of Skyrocketing Litigation Costs“, BNA’s Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, 11/26/2010
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