September 1, 2015

“The Outlook for Protecting Clean Energy Intellectual Property,” Energy Central, September 1, 2015

By David L. Suter, Principal

A number of legal and industry publications have discussed the increase in patent litigation in the clean energy industry. This is hardly a surprise, as increased commercial potential has fueled increased R&D, and increased patent activity. A seemingly inevitable result is patent litigation, as companies either fight for market share or attempt to monetize their patent portfolios.

In some sense, the clean energy sector is following the same path taken by more “mature” industries. Some guidance can be found from the semiconductor industry, for example, where developing large patent portfolios for licensing and litigation settlement leverage has proved to be a useful strategy. But this is not always an option for many companies, either because of cost constraints or because their technologies are not so amenable to multiple patent filings.

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