The idea is to offer a patent or group of patents as “unit licence rights” (ULRs), which can be bought and sold like shares. A ULR grants a one-time right to use a particular technology in a single product: a new type of airbag sensor in a car, say. If a company wants to use the technology in 100,000 cars, it buys 100,000 ULRs at the market price. ULRs are also expected to be traded on secondary markets.
These ULRs (sot to be confused with URLs) allow standard, over-the-counter, licensing of IP rights. IPXI’s ULRs are a publicly focused version of the a la carte IP licensing scheme currently offered to universities by companies like CaSTT, but without CaSTT’s SEO and marketing functions. Time will tell whether these types of markets survive, and whether these markets provide inventors with a more efficient alternative to litigation.