As part of our goal of improving patent quality, Unified used its new APIX (validity) & CITX (value) tools to compare the US issued patents of the MPEGLA and HEVC Advance High Efficiency Video Coding ("HEVC") licensing pools. In fact, anyone can try the tools here.
In this case, we obtained the publicly available list of US patents in the respective MPEGLA HEVC (340 US patents) & HEVC Advance (118 US patents) pools to be used in our study. Note, US patents are a small percentage of both pools. We then ran them against APIX and CITX to see which ones were rated the highest and lowest.
APIX assesses over 30 variables to determine validity by rating each patent on a scale of "AA" (highest) to "D" (lowest). Patents with an AA or A rating have a greater than 50% chance of surviving a challenge at the PTAB. For more details on how APIX works, see the full description here.
The study revealed that 176 patents (52%) of the MPEGLA pool received the highest "AA" or "A" APIX rating. 48 patents (41%) of HEVC Advance's portfolio received an "AA" or "A" rating.
CITX rating evaluates a patent's value using a more traditional assessment of the number of forward citations compared to issued patents in the same year. The majority of US patents in each pool received a "D" (lowest) CITX rating.
Cross-referencing CITX ratings with Unified's unique APIX ratings, we can identify what appear to be the best patents based not only on value, but also on validity. Our analysis shows that approximately 6.7% of HEVC Advance's patents are rated highest—receiving an "AA" or "A" for both APIX and CITX (indicated by the GREEN region). By contrast, less than 1% of MPEGLA's HEVC patents received a similar rating.
These results are not surprising considering that many believe only a narrow subset of patents are of high validity and value. Tools such as APIX and CITX allow companies to quickly assess a portfolios and identify the best and worst patents. Sophisticated entities can then assess how best to mitigate any pool risk and decide from who and when to take licenses to decrease risk and/or lower costs. Try the tools yourself here.
On January 11, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board instituted IPR2016-01404 against a patent owned and asserted by Intellectual Ventures (II) LLC. The Board instituted trial on claims 1, 2, 13, 14, 33, 34, 39, 46, and 48.
A copy of the decision can be found below.