The IP Exchange International has been around since 2009 without making much of a splash, but it announced some actual partners for the first time yesterday. Philips and Com-Pac International are joined as IPXI founding members by Rutgers University, Northwestern University and the University of Utah.
IPXI's idea is simple; quickly and transparently offer IP rights for licensing purposes via "Unit License Rights" (ULR's):
ULR contracts allow patent owners to license select technology in a non-discriminatory manner via standard form licenses on publicly disclosed terms. ULR contracts address the current inefficiency of technology transfer including the time, expense, redundancy and uncertain outcome of traditional bilateral licensing negotiations. IPXI serves as the intermediary between patent owners and potential licensees, listing the ULR contracts and facilitating one or more offerings of consumable “license rights” – the ULR contract. Each ULR contract purchased gives the buyer the right to use a pre-established unit of IP, for example the right to make and/or sell up to an established quantity of products covered by the patents in question.Like the markets in minority shares of private companies that BVWire has followed closely, it has proved difficult to get IP owners to commit to the project. So, both the number of, and transparency of, such licensing deals are unlikely to be material for business appraisers for a very long time. And, of course, licensing transactions, such as those captured in ktMine and other databases, is only part of the value equation for patents and other IP (maybe we need a public exchange of IP litigation contingencies!).
That being said, the IP Exchange International got a bit of new funding, and its five initial partners yesterday--so it bears watching as one more source of potential private company transaction data.