#26 Joe Casino | Sun Patent Trust’s Approach to Commercialize SEPs
Play • 50 min

Joe Casino is the Managing Trustee of Sun Patent Trust and a partner at Wiggin and Dana. He has been involved in licensing and patent enforcement for more than 25 years and is consistently named as one of the world's leading IP strategists and Global Leader by IAM Strategy 300, as well as Super Lawyer honors. Joe is Secretary for the Licensing Executives Society standard-setting program for developing an ANSI standard of best practices for licensing negotiations. Joe specialises in patent office disputes, complex licensing, patent monetisation, patent portfolio development, and worldwide intellectual property strategic matters.  

In the podcast Joe describes his extended experience in all aspects of intellectual property law and explains how SEP cases are different to other patent cases. Joe started working in Japan as in-house patent counsel for Matsushita Electric Industrial, Co. Ltd. (“Panasonic”) and continued that work by becoming the Managing Trustee of Sun Patent Trust (www.sun-ip.com), which is the licensing entity for selected Panasonic high tech patents. Sun Patent Trust was established in December 2015 as a Delaware Statutory Trust owning over 5,000+ patents and pending applications. The patent portfolio includes protection in North America, Europe and Asia. Joe follows different licensing and commercialization approaches including licensing the Sun Patent Trust portfolios through patent pools, other platforms and through individual licensing as well as patent transactions. Joes is committed to licensing SEPs under the FRAND patent policies set by the relevant standard setting organisations and is proud that during the past 8 years only once he had to enforce the Sun Patent Trust patents in a litigation case against HTC in 2020-2021 in front of the Eastern District of Texas.  

Overall, Joe feels that the world of SEP licensing has developed to be much more complex compared to 10 years ago with new market players on both sides. New SEP owners have established strong SEP portfolios but even more we observe an increasing number of standards implementing companies from industries that have yet not licensed-in SEPs. That creates challenges for SEP licensing and especially for smaller players such as the Sun Patent Trust a patent pool or patent platform solution is increasingly solving such challenges best. Still also pools and platforms are not all equal and some are more successful than others. Joe carefully evaluates which SEP licence program or pool to join. 

In general Joe believes that the market should solve the SEP licensing challenges and FRAND determination should be solved by the negotiating parties and not by governments and only in exceptional cases by courts. Joe ends the podcast by quoting the final statements in two SEP landmark decisions from the UK higher court of justice namely. Interdigital vs Lenovo and Unwired Planet vs Huawei. Here both judges concluded that FRAND determination is a very a complex topic and courts are not best equipped to determine a FRAND rate. It is always best if the negotiation parties should solve this bilaterally. 

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