Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Third party funding and IP dispute settlement: another role for IP analytics

From Legal IT Insider comes an article today, "Third party litigation funding: Bentham reports 60% leap in U.S. investment opportunities" here, which makes fascinating reading for businesses in the world's most litigious jurisdiction.  It's not aimed specifically at the intellectual property community but it carries a message for them.  In relevant part, this piece reads:
"The U.S. business of IMF Bentham has reported a 60% leap in investment opportunities over the past year as the third party commercial litigation funding giant this year opens an office in Toronto ...

Bentham IMF in the U.S., which doubled in size in 2015, has over the past year seen the successful or partial conclusion of six funded matters, including three portfolio deals with law firms, and several large-scale disputes with additional recoveries expected going forward.

It has given new funding to 15 disputes (out of nearly 300 presented for the firm’s consideration in 2015) and its annual U.S. claim value now represents one-third of the company’s global annual claim value, with projections that the figure will reach 50% in the next several years. Recoveries include cases involving insurance claims, patent and copyright disputes, international arbitrations and whistle-blower claims. ...

Globally the business has grown by more than 60 professionals across the U.S., Canada, the UK and Australia, ... 
As of 30 June 2015, Bentham had completed 175 cases, of which it settled 117, won 13, lost 10 and withdrew in 35. According to its website, the company has made total recoveries of $1.6bn, of which $1bn was returned to clients".
The easy message is that, if you have a good-looking case you can't afford to fight, you can get third-party funding which is tied to a considerable body of litigation expertise, with the prospect of a decent financial return.   The deeper message is one that relates to IP analytics. With two cases in every three being settled, an accurate appreciation of the value of the action in an ever-changing market can assist the settlement process. For example if you can show that an allegedly infringed IP right belongs to a technology that is facing obsolescence or, to the contrary, is heading to be a technical standard, the maths leading to a settlement payment may more accurately reflect the value of the IP in its industrial and commercial context than the relative strengths of the disputing parties.

1 comment:

  1. There's an IAM piece today on Burford and third party IP litigation funding. http://www.iam-media.com/blog/Detail.aspx?g=6f2cfe58-4e23-4c99-9b77-225cbb02d41d Much talk of money, no mention of analytics :-)