Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mullin still trashing Spangenberg

In a post on May 21, 2010, Joe Mullin goes after Erich Spangenberg, again. This post is called Spangenberg Speaks, Says Sue First, Ask Questions Later.

Last year, Mullin had a hissy-fit over a piece on Spangenberg by Heather Skyler. Last year, Mullin was recycling Lemley; now he's just recycling Mullin.

The end of this year's article gets into patent valuation:

Still, when it came to the issue of a patent marketplace, Phelps threw some cold water on Ryan and Spangenberg's hope for a more something akin to a real-estate asset-type marketplace.

"I'm one of those people who's kind of skeptical about whether there will be public marketplaces for patents," said Phelps. "There's been a failure of another profession here, and that's the accounting profession," he said. (By "another," Phelps meant, in addition to the legal profession.) "It's a dysfunctional marketplace. They're are scared to death. They don't know how to value [IP] and they're going to get their socks sued off if they value it wrong."

Spangenberg smiled at Phelps's critique of his rosy IP-market scenario. "I'm a bit more optimistic on the transactional side." But he did take the point. "At the end of the day, valuation of IP will remain an inexact science."

Phelps is right to skeptical about the viability of public marketplace for patents. But wrong about the failure of accountants who don't have the right skill set for the job. The same invention can be valueless in the hands of Xerox, but quite valuable with Apple, and accountants are not the go-to guys for that call.


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