IPNav founder and renowned patent monetiser Erich Spangenberg is back buying US assets. According to an 18th September notice on the USPTO patent assignment database an entity called Page Innovations LLC acquired a single patent from inventor Justin Page relating to identity theft protection. In the assignment cover sheet Spangenberg is listed as the manager of Page Innovations. The details of the assignment were first reported in an RPX weekly email.
What isn’t clear yet are Spangenberg’s motivations - he declined to comment when contacted by IAM - but it is increasingly apparent that he’s preparing for another chapter of his involvement in the value creation market. That follows several years in which he teamed up with Kyle Bass to challenge life sciences patents through IPR and became director of acquisitions, licensing and strategy for the NPE Marathon Patent Group.
As well as Page Innovations LLC, in July an entity called CRX Tech LLC, which lists Spangenberg as CEO, acquired one US patent and an application from fibre optics business Cirrex Systems.
As this blog reported earlier this year, Spangenberg has teamed up with former France Brevets executive Pascal Asselot to form IP strategy firm Hermes Patents. He has also wound down his involvement with Marathon having resigned as a director in August, although he remains a consultant with the business. The NPE has been in some turmoil of late as it has gone through a restructuring deal with Fortress IP which saw the investment firm take control of several portfolios.
Much of Spangenberg’s focus in recent years has been on the European market - where he has extolled the virtues of German courts in comparison with the US - and monetisation opportunities in Asia. In the recent IAM Market Makers top 40 he commented: “Can you imagine if there wasn’t Europe or Asia right now? We’d all be on Xanax.”
While the US patent market still enjoys advantages thanks to its depth and the strength of its innovation engine, it has become an increasingly depressing jurisdiction for licensors. That also means that asset values have been at historically low levels for several years. Spangenberg’s recent acquisitions suggests that he might now be spying opportunities in what remains the world’s largest patent market.