The recent positive developments in Nanoco’s patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung in the US, highlight the possibilities for universities, their technology transfer offices or spin-outs to realise the value of their inventions and protect their intellectual property from the predatory clutches of Big Tech.
In short, Nanoco claimed that the South Korean company used its patent-protected cadmium-free quantum dot technology in its QLED TVs without its permission. Quantum dot technology is used in displays to improve picture quality and sharpness. Cadmium is a toxic metal that has been banned across the EU for many years.
Reports in the media suggest that the Manchester University spin-out could bank up to US$500 million (Approx AU$715m) from the settlement with Samsung – a game-changing outcome for any university or related entity.
While global patent enforcement, particularly if it involves a US element, can result in eye-watering awards or settlements, many universities or related start-ups have neither the risk appetite nor the significant resources needed to effectively take on a trillion-dollar global tech behemoth.
This is where litigation funders like Woodsford can help. In return for taking on the significant financial risk, funders receive a pre-negotiated percentage of the damages recovered or a multiple of the costs funded – assuming the case is won.
A key point is that our funding is non-recourse, meaning that if the claim fails, the claimant owes us nothing and Woodsford may in fact face liability for the other side’s costs.
With the support of a litigation funder, Nanoco could send a clear and powerful message to Samsung that it was fully resourced by an independent, dispassionate and highly selective third-party. This would have allowed Nanoco to credibly present the strength of its position and its willingness to vigorously pursue its rights in settlement negotiations, helping facilitate an extremely positive outcome.
For more a detailed look at how Woodsford works with universities and TTOs to protect and monetise their IP, you can read our whitepaper, Litigation Funding for Universities and Technology Transfer Offices, here.
Woodsford has been delivering access to justice to claimholders for over a decade, with our finance levelling the playing field and providing equality of arms. While the details of most of our investments are confidential, you can read about our recent successful support of inventor, Michael Kaufman, in his dispute with Microsoft that resulted in a $10m award here.
If you have any questions about how Woodsford can help you protect your IP, contact Clare Owen.