Soryn IP Group

Soryn IP Group is a new breed of patent management and advisory company, led by a former partner at one of the most prestigious law firms in the world and one of the most accomplished innovators in the technology & patent spaces. In direct response to today’s anti-patent climate, our team provides a host of patent-centric services – including portfolio evaluation, creation and optimization, venture and monetization funding, patent brokerage, licensing support and strategic IP consulting – to clients ranging from promising start-ups to billion dollar corporations. We are experts in science, law and business, and maximize value for our clients at every stage of the intellectual property lifecycle.

Read more about our mission and why we exist

Services

Portfolio Development

Portfolio Development

Our focus is on creating large, dynamic patent portfolios around disruptive technologies—portfolios that are strategically crafted to not only protect our clients’ technologies but to also protect entire market spaces.

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Patent Monetization

Patent Monetization

With decades of elite experience with respect to the legal, business and technology aspects of patents, Soryn IP Group is uniquely positioned to drive a range of monetization efforts on behalf of our clients. The proof: we have been engaged from innovators ranging from pedigreed inventors to billion dollar companies.

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Litigation Funding

Litigation Funding

Through our relationships with an array of investors, financial institutions and litigation funding groups, the Soryn IP Group is able to fund or arrange for the funding of select patent litigations.

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Patent Advisory

Patent Advisory

Operating at the center of the patent market, with a wealth of experience and close ties to industry leading operating companies, NPEs, financial institutions and law firms, Soryn IP Group holds unique insights that we yield to our clients' benefit.

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Leadership

MichaelGulliford

Michael J. Gulliford

Founder / Managing Principal

Michael is the Founder & Managing Principal of Soryn IP Group. Although formerly a partner in the patent litigation group at Kirkland & Ellis LLP — one of the most respected and feared such groups in the United States — Michael left his lucrative practice to found a company 100% committed to innovators reliant on strong patent protection in what has become an anti-patent atmosphere.  
 
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FatihOzluturk

Fatih M. Ozluturk

Principal, Head of Technology & Innovation

Fatih is the Principal & Head of Technology and Innovation at Soryn IP Group. He brings to Soryn decades of experience in technology, finance, intellectual property and entrepreneurship. He is the inventor of nearly 200 patents. Fatih oversees the Soryn’s intake, diligence and technology collaborations.  
 
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"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY

From the Blog

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Soryn IP Group Principals Named Top IP Strategists In The World By The IAM Magazine

FOR RELEASE – 6/22/2015: 

Soryn IP Group Principals Named Top IP Strategists In The World
By Intellectual Asset Management

New York, New York (June 22nd, 2015) — Soryn IP Group, LLC (“Soryn IP Group”) announced today that Intellectual Asset Management — the premier international publication covering the business of intellectual property — named Michael Gulliford and Fatih Ozluturk to the 2015 list of Top IP Strategists in the World.

Soryn IP Group creates, manages, monetizes and finances the IP and IP operations of clients ranging from start-ups to billion dollar corporations. Gulliford, a former partner at one of the most prestigious law firms in the world, founded Soryn to implement models and strategies that make sense in today’s anti-patent market. Ozluturk, who is formerly InterDigital’s most prolific inventor and whose patents have generated more then $1 billion in revenues, joined shortly thereafter. A testament to the trust Soryn has garnered among the world’s most prestigious companies, the market capitalization of Soryn’s current clients already exceeds $25 billion.

“We could not be more pleased to have been recognized as top IP strategists in the world by such a respected publication,” highlighted Michael Gulliford, the Founder and Managing Principal of Soryn IP Group. “Even more flattering has been to receive such recognition in only our second full year of business. We’ve been fortunate that some of the largest companies in the world have already recognized the value of our expertise, and IAM’s recognition is just the icing on the cake.”

“As in previous years, we have dedicated significant editorial and research resources to ensuring we identify only world class IP strategists, so we are confident that all those named in the IAM Strategy 300 2015 fully merit the recognition that they have received,” says IAM editor Joff Wild. “With intellectual property now central to the success of so many companies across the globe, we are delighted that this publication has become the recognised source of reference for those seeking to identify the world’s leading IP strategists. What’s more, we believe that the roles all those named in the IAM Strategy 300 play is only going to increase in importance over the coming years. We salute each and every one of them.”

For more information about Soryn IP Group please visit www.sorynipgroup.com.
ABOUT SORYN IP GROUP, LLC

Soryn IP Group is a patent management and advisory company specializing at the intersection of law, business and science. Soryn provides a host of patent-centric services – including portfolio evaluation, creation and optimization, venture and monetization funding, patent brokerage, licensing support and strategic IP consulting – to clients ranging from promising start-ups to billion dollar corporations. The company’s headquarters is located in New York, New York.

 

CONTACT

Michael Gulliford
Founder & Managing Principal: Soryn IP Group, LLC.
(646) 378-2059
mgulliford@sorynipgroup.com

 

Forbes Publishes Michael Gulliford’s Article On Current Patent Reform

ForbesArticle

Forbes.com has published an article written by Soryn IP Group Founder Michael Gulliford addressing the issue of how to curb patent trolls and abusive patent litigation while making sure we preserve the ability of innovation intensive businesses to protect their inventions and benefit from them. Read it here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2015/06/12/why-the-fight-against-patent-trolls-could-hurt-innovative-companies-everywhere/

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Yes, Alice Was a Big Deal, But Now What?

As 2014 came to a close, and the patent community weighed in on the year’s most momentous patent events, there was one clear winner: the Supreme Court’s summertime decision regarding software patentability in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l (“Alice”). Immediately following the decision, we predicted the death of many software patents (see our TechCrunch article here). And now, following a glut of court decisions appearing to confirm the prediction, we are often asked the same question by those with a stake in software patents: “What does it all mean and what do I do now?” To this, we offer our thoughts:

Alice Applied

In Alice, the Supreme Court gave us a checklist of sorts by which to analyze whether a software invention is patent eligible under 35 U.S.C § 101 (or still valid if the patent has already been granted). First, you must determine whether the underlying, claimed software invention is an abstract idea. If it’s not, you’re generally home free. If it is, however, then your software invention can’t be patented unless you can show that you did something more than use the Internet or a computer to make your invention come to life. Such a showing could be that the software invention achieves some new result not previously attainable, requires novel computer operations to operate or improves the functioning of the hardware itself.

But the Supreme Court’s test begs one big question: what is an abstract idea and when is a software invention considered one? As luck would have it, the Supreme Court didn’t provide much help on that issue. However, in struggling to understand what the Supreme Court meant, courts have given us some guidance. And if you had the chance to slog through those cases, here’s what you’d find.

First, if your invention is the software version of an already existing human practice, it is very likely an unpatentable abstract idea (or in the case of an already granted patent to this subject matter, invalid). Examples would include using the Internet or software to manage contracts or mitigate risk in a financial transaction, cloud software for doing your taxes, software for conducting auctions, software for playing video poker, or software for generating insurance policies. After all, these concepts already existed in human practice outside of the software realm. And no, it does not matter if you invented something the human brain could not do outside of a computer implementation.

Second, if your software patent’s claims do not relate to a ubiquitous human practice, but are nonetheless directing towards pure data processing and not tied to a physical machine, the patent may also be found invalid. In other words, manipulating data and processing numbers, if not tied to some other hardware or useful output, may be considered abstract and therefore not patentable.

Third, if your software invention has no analog in prior human practice and solves Internet or computer specific problems, there is a much better chance that it will qualify for patent protection under Alice. Examples could include software for controlling field programmable gate arrays, software for overcoming limitations in web browsers or software built to manage novel hardware. Again, because these technologies exist only in the computer realm and do not have non-software analogs in human behavior/practices, they have a much better chance of being found patent eligible.

But remember, far from black and white, most software patents straddle the gray area between validity and invalidity we describe above. In these situations, validity very much lies in the eye in the beholder. Consider Apple’s famous slide-to-unlock patents. Is the underlying invention a mechanism to prevent a touch screen from unintentionally activating an input function (no parallel in human practice and not very abstract)? Or is the invention basically just a lock (long history in human experience and quite abstact)? As you can see, the end result is very much dictated by one’s perception of the invention and/or how the claims are characterized.

So What Now?

Given this present uncertainty, what is a technology company to do? Should software patent protection be abandoned in favor of other financial considerations? Should software patenting be cut back? These are also common questions, to which we offer some thoughts.

If You Can Afford It, Don’t Give Up On Software Patents

Perhaps counterintuitive, but despite the current uncertainty with software patents, the companies holding many of these now “questionable” patents have not stopped their patent filings. Everyone from Google to the banks continue to file the patents directed to very similar type of subject matter now under attack. Why? Because there are a number of strategic reasons to hold such patents. Not only do software patents protect one’s own technologies, they can also drive cross-licensing deals or dissuade suits from potential competitors. After all, before a competitor files a patent infringement suit against you, they often examine your patents. If you are holding patents that they infringe, the inevitable result is often an undesirable patent war making their suit hard to justify.

Let’s also remember that the patent world is highly cyclical. Patents have 20 years of life and what’s of questionable validity today very well qualify for strong patent protection in 10 years when courts or Congress see things differently. This is particularly so given the tendency for overcorrection in the patent world. As of late, in direct response to the perceived “patent troll” problem, the pendulum has been swinging in the anti-patent direction. But things are primed to change, particularly as courts and Congress begin to observe the undesirable effects of a weakened patent system. And the best way to ensure a valuable portfolio when that correction comes full circle is to continue filing patent applications now.

But File The Right Kind of Software Patents

Hopefully, you’ve decided to continue filing software patents. Now — and particularly if your company is active in the Internet, SaaS, social networking, advertising, financial or cloud spaces — it is crucial to be smart with the types of software inventions for which you seek patent protection.

For one, it would be wise to focus your patent claims less on aspects of your technologies that have analogs in everyday human practice or business, and more on the network, computer or Internet specific problems you’ve overcome in implementing those technologies. For social media companies, this could mean fewer patents directed to liking a post and more patents directed to security and authentication of users, technology for enhanced mobile integration, fixes to webpage specific problems that arise in the context of social media and/or converting and storing data.

And also don’t forget to focus less on the pure data processing/software elements of your invention and more on the hardware oriented aspects. The more your patent claims are directed toward hardware or other physical embodiments that interact with software, the better.

And Don’t Forget to Preserve Your Ability to Evolve With the Patent Ecosystem

Again, the noose may loosen on software patents in the future, and assuming your company possesses the necessary finances, the right strategy now will be an ideal insurance policy down the line. A key element of that strategy should be the filing of rich specifications that describe everything that your product or service is about, how it is built and used, and all the alternative ways to practice it. And by keeping your patent applications alive at the patent office through the filing of continuation applications, you’ll have the opportunity to make sure that your patents evolve with the times.

In the case of software patents, a rich disclosure should include not only what’s being implemented, but all possible variations of the implementation, including whether it is implemented in dedicated standalone computers or on the cloud, how that partitioning may be done, what type of user interfaces are part of the program, how it works on a large screen desktop computer versus on a smaller screen of a mobile phone, what are the protocols and steps involved in user authentication, signup, and such things as how you collect user data for analytics purposes and how it is integrated into your product. It would also be wise to include all the special things that you needed to do to make more efficient use of memory and storage, as well as interfaces to other programs and peripheral devices. After all, these details may give you the ability to draft claims in conjunction with the core function of your product, and take it outside the abstract idea definition.

Conclusion

In the end, technology companies with the means to do so should not give up on software patents! But as we bid adieu to 2014 and usher in a New Year, it is time to approach software patents in a new light by being much more strategic with not only the kinds of inventions we seek to patent, but how we characterize those inventions in our patents. Because those that can put the strategies of the past to bed and approach today’s software patent challenge through an entirely new lens will be the one’s succeeding well beyond 2015.

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Our new article on IP Watchdog about small tech companies and IP protection

In a recent article in the IP Watchdog blog we have highlighted the difference in attitudes towards IP protection between large versus small innovators. Read about our own experiences with startup companies in NYC and how they successfully used their patents as business assets.

http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2014/10/21/the-cost-of-not-having-patent-protection/id=51758/

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IAM magazine recognizes Soryn IP Group as an IP firm that continues to innovate in this space

In a recent article, IAM magazine’s Richard Lloyd has recognized Soryn IP Group as one of the few IP firms that continue to innovate in this space. He highlights our partnership with Liquid Venture Partners and writes about the way our Liquid Patent Consulting brings investment banking and IP advisory services together.

http://www.iam-magazine.com/blog/Detail.aspx?g=d0de05be-2737-4b03-b3c2-f24b03ebd065

The Ramifications of Alice: A Conversation with Mark Lemley

According to Mark Lemley of Stanford, “a majority of the software patents being litigated right now, I think, are invalid.” While others may disagree with that statement, we can certainly expect a downward trend in software patent complaints going forward. How severe a downward trend will be an interesting question.

http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2014/09/04/the-ramifications-of-alice-a-conversation-with-mark-lemley/id=51023/

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