The development of intellectual property (IP) assets is crucial to an entity’s innovation, competitiveness, and sustained growth. It allows IP owners to analyze the appropriate measures based on their strengths and limitations for each opportunity to be leveraged as another source of revenue. While it strengthens overall profits, it may also diversify risk considering the value of an IP in some cases.
For instance, there was a case of how major cooperation, UNIQLO’s Fast Retailing Co., Ltd lost a patent dispute against SMEs, IT company Asterisk Inc. In May 2021, it was reported that UNIQLO’s RFID scanning tag which is used as self-checkout machines was alleged of patent infringement. According to UNIQLO, the claims of the patent should be declared invalid. This is not an uncommon case for major cooperation to enjoy free technology over SMEs’ hard work and inventions by seeking invalidity.
In the first stage, UNIQLO was found to be patently infringing by the IP High Court Japan which pleased Asterisk, but they were wary of a drawn-out IP battle. It was obvious that the large costs to wage this battle for SMEs like Asterisk to bear and they did everything they could to avoid being too entangled in the litigation process. UNIQLO however took the matter to the Supreme Court of Japan for Invalidation Trials on several of Asterisk’s other patent claims.
Hence, Asterisk had decided to seek for the expert help, an intellectual property management company, and again, Asterisk succeeded against UNIQLO. Asterisk was working hard to support the IP expert that they hired in the litigation process while willing to let go of direct control of the patent. The RFID technology was a valuable liability for Asterisk’s long-time goal: to go public on the stock exchange. After passing on its controversial patent, Asterisk forged ahead for that goal and enjoy a successful start to the trade of its new stock on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
As an IP expert in the field, such a dispute is not surprising anymore. In most of our client’s cases, despite their hard work as a patent owners, it has always been nearly impossible for them to demand a license fee when the other party claims the invalidity. We understand their struggle and we have also helped thousands of IP owners to claim the invalidation for what is rightfully theirs. For IP owners that currently facing invalidity claims, infringement, or to claim the invalidation, fret not, we may offer a hand to assist you in every stretch of your intellectual property, and not only limited to that, but we may also help to figure out the idea of monetization of an IP asset.
This article is brought to you by Exy IP PTE. LTD.