Taiwan to host online patent auction in October

A government-funded research institute in Taiwan has opened a patent Web site for an October fire sale of IT patents

A government-funded research institute in Taiwan has opened a patent Web site for an October fire sale of IT patents, hoping to match international sellers with Taiwanese buyers.

The Web site aims to collect patents for a variety of electronics technologies. They include WiMax high speed wireless Internet connectivity LCD-TV (liquid crystal display television); 3G (third generation) and other telecommunications; and LED (light emitting diode) and a host of audio/visual technologies, including HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

"Many companies have an inventory of unused patents from shelved projects that no longer fit the company's business strategy or core business...However, an organization's unproductive patents may be very valuable to another company," the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) said in a statement on Friday. ITRI hopes to play matchmaker in such cases.

The research group is encouraging companies globally to sell their patents to Taiwanese companies through the auction. It is collecting patent information at the Web site and will promote them ahead of the October auction in Chinese.

The international side of the site is English-only, and ITRI is charging $US100 per patent family listing, according to the site. Any organization listing more than 20 patents will be given a discount.

Patents are listed under seven categories: IC Fabless (integrated circuit), TFT-LCD (thin-film-crystal-liquid crystal display), Digital TV, Digital Broadcasting, Wireless Communication & Networking, LED, and Audio/Visual.

Taiwanese companies have been creating and buying patents for years, for many reasons. The main reason is to protect intellectual property and profit by licensing deals. Companies can also increase the number of patents they hold to enter cross-license agreements with major patent holders, instead of paying licensing fees. Such measures reducing business costs. Users tend to benefit from corporate cost reductions because stiff competition in most technology fields means companies must constantly seek ways to lower the prices of their products.

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