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Patent & Intelletual Property Auction and Advance Sales Help Inventors Gauge the Price of Technology

Do you ever wonder what your patent is worth?  Or, if it is worthless?  If so, then you might want to check out some of the online patent auction sites to help you compare your invention with others.   One of the more respected online intellectual property auction provider is Ocean Tomo.  And, Ocean Tomo is now hosting its Spring 2010 auction of patents and other intellectual property assets with a live auction March 24 & 25, 2010 as well as private advanced sale options.

Some listings, have buy-it-now options, such as http://icapoceantomo.com/item-for-sale/smart-card-magnetic-recording listing 7,591,426 and 7,591,427 are listed for $200,000 USD.

And other listings do not have buy-it-now pricing, rather these patents will be sold during the auction or through private advanced bidding.  For example, NASA lists several different patent portfolios that include:

http://icapoceantomo.com/item-for-sale/digital-memory-storage-hub listing US Patent No. US11/935,572

http://icapoceantomo.com/item-for-sale/docking-system listing US Patent Nos. 6,778,180, 7,006,203, 7,174,077, 7,375,801, 6,227,495, 6,254,035, 6,658,329, and 6,888,476

http://icapoceantomo.com/item-for-sale/fiber-optic-grating-apparatus listing US Patent No. 6,873,762

http://icapoceantomo.com/item-for-sale/microresonator listing US Patent Nos. 6,028,693 and 6,885,779

Do you want to see other patents and intellectual property are for sale?  If so, then goto http://icapoceantomo.com/forsale/.

Liability of Online Auctioneers – Auction Sites and Brand Owners Hammer it Out

February 16, 2010 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Business, trademark, Trademark Articles 

Author: Emily S, William & Mary Intern

In today’s economy, online auctions are often viewed as a strategy to beat the credit crunch. Those unwanted gifts and unused purchases can all be put on Internet auction sites and sold for a bit of much-needed cash. Not all sellers have such innocent motives, however, and the unscrupulous have used these auction websites to sell counterfeit and other illegal goods. Such sellers have involved online auction sites with legal proceedings in a variety of jurisdictions, as luxury brand owners try to hold auction sites such as eBay jointly liable with sellers for trademark infringement.

Multiple examples of legal proceedings involving auction sites have occurred in the United States. In 2008, Tiffany brought suit against eBay for direct and contributory trademark infringement, false advertising and trademark dilution, with regard to the sale of counterfeit jewelry on eBay. Tiffany (NJ) Inc. and Tiffany and Company v. eBay Inc., 576 F. Supp. 2d 463 (S.D.N.Y. 2008)

In filing its primary infringement claim, Tiffany acknowledged that eBay was not responsible for trademark infringement by individual sellers. However, Tiffany asserted that eBay was liable for contributory infringement because eBay knew that sellers posted and sold counterfeit items on its site and it did not take necessary measures to prevent or regulate this illegal activity. The company also claimed that eBay’s use of TIFFANY marks on its website and the advertising of counterfeit goods as authentic goods on eBay constituted trademark dilution and false advertising. In response to these claims, eBay asserted that its policies to remove potentially infringing listings when such listings were reported to eBay, even if somewhat inconsistently applied, were sufficient to exempt the company from being deemed a contributory infringer.  In addition, eBay claimed that it was not required by law to monitor its website and preemptively remove listings of counterfeit TIFFANY jewelry before such listings were made public. It argued that the duty to search the online market for counterfeit items belonged to the brand owner rather than the operator of the auction site.

In its decision, a U.S. district court in New York reiterated that liability for contributory infringement is not based on a reasonable anticipation of infringement, and it requires that the party knew or had reason to know of specific infringing activity. In looking into the matter, the court found that eBay had insufficient prior knowledge of specific infringing activity and took action to remove any infringing items once Tiffany provided notice that it believed the items were counterfeit. In addition, the court decided that eBay was not liable for dilution or false advertising, as eBay did not use the TIFFANY mark on its own products and false advertising is the fault of the seller.

However, a later case in California made the courts’ position on this matter less clear-cut. In August 2009, a U.S. District court in California found that two internet service providers and their owner were liable for contributory trademark infringement for hosting websites that sold counterfeit LOUIS VUITTON goods. Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A., v. Akanoc Solutions, Inc., et al., CV07-03952 JW (N.D. Cal. 2007).

Just as in the previous case, the court considered if the internet service provider had specific knowledge of the infringement, but unlike in the Tiffany case, the court held that the information provided by Louis Vuitton was sufficient to have given the internet service provider specific prior knowledge of the infringing activity.

The judgments in such cases to date appear to endorse the view that online auction sites are generally not liable for trademark infringements by their users and that the brand owners are the ones responsible for monitoring these sites. However, if the internet site or provider had sufficient specific knowledge of infringement activities, it may be held liable for contributory infringement. Additional information about trademark law and infringement may be found here.

Patent & Trademark Auction on July 22-23

Ocean Tomo is now accepting patent submissions for its July 22-23 auction in Chicago, Illinois.

Do you wonder how much you invention or idea is worth?  Ocean Tomo offers an extensive qualified buyer network with experience selling IP assets across various industries and technology areas. Live IP Auctions have realized approximately $112M in transactions. Click here to submit IP online, or call (312) 377-4851 or e-mail auctions@oceantomo.com

How much is a patent, trademark or domain name worth?

March 15, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Patent Articles, Uncategorized 

Have you ever wondered how much a patent, trademark or domain is worth?   Oceano Tomo is starting its 4th year of patent auctions.  Take a look at Oceano Tomo’s web site that is now showcasing 81 patents for the live auction at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco on March 26-27, 2009.  Some of the technology for sale includes a $850,000 valued patent that confirms an email has been accessed (item 12) as well as a $2,750,000 valued patent that increases the speed of processing comples data signats (item 22).  If anyone attends the auction, please tell us about your experiences.

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