FAQ

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A: AST is an independent, not-for-profit cooperative that helps its Member companies mitigate the risk of patent assertions and litigation by enabling Members to collectively purchase assets available on the open market.

AST’s unique solutions help companies before adversarial patent litigation may occur and provide Member companies with a proactive patent defense approach and proven method of analyzing patent purchase opportunities.

A: AST provides its Members with many benefits including a fully transparent solution for Members to analyze patent purchase opportunities and to complete defensive patent acquisitions. In addition, AST puts together buying consortiums when a low cost defensive license is desired by a Member.

AST Members also enjoy access to fAST IP, the most comprehensive database of patent assets for sale in the world with each patent categorized by technology and product impact, and over 30,000 supporting documents. fAST IP allows a Member company to quickly and efficiently triage patents for sale and determine which ones may be of interest. 

Because AST puts no restrictions on the use of this information, Members may source patents for their own purchase, through a cooperative AST bid via fAST IP, or through any other organization that suits their needs.

Other benefits of AST Membership include access to comprehensive analytic data on litigations and reassignments, and networking events among Members including quarterly board meetings and regional networking events throughout the year.

 

A: AST continually considers the purchase of issued patents in high technology areas and offers patent brokers and sellers a confidential, proven process.

AST enters Non-Disclosure Agreements when requested by sellers for supporting materials they wish to provide. AST’s NDA is very specific to the purpose of evaluating patents for potential purchase, and AST Member companies abide by these terms.

AST’s proprietary fAST IP database helps ensure that the top decision-makers at our Member companies see a seller’s portfolio.  AST has regular dialogs with our Members to review portfolios, ensuring that a relevant portfolio is not lost in the noise.

Because AST does the initial triage on a portfolio – ensuring chain of title, determining family members, and assigning product and technology categories to each US asset, the members can be more effective at analyzing the relevance of the portfolio to their business.  Some AST members ask brokers to bring everything to them through AST so that they can take advantage of this efficiency.

AST doesn’t charge a fee to the patent owner or seller for listing or selling a portfolio with AST.

A: fAST IP is AST’s proprietary database of patent assets for sale containing over 125,000 assets, each categorized by technology and product impact, and over 30,000 supporting documents. The most comprehensive database of patent assets for sale in the world, fAST IP also allows an operating company to quickly and efficiently triage patents for sale and determine which ones may be of interest.

Because AST puts no restrictions on the use of the information provided by fAST IP, Members may source patents for their own purchase, through a cooperative AST bid for a low cost defensive license, or through an outside organization.

fAST IP helps ensure that a seller’s portfolio is seen by the top decision-makers at Member companies.

It is a web-enabled, password-protected database that allows Members to have access to every portfolio, every asset and every document.

A: AST Members include top global companies from a wide range of industries including Information Technology, Semiconductors, Consumer Electronics, Social Networking, Communications (both wired and wireless), Medical Information Systems, Lighting and LED applications, Automotive and other high technology areas. Current AST Members include ARM Limited, Avaya, Ford, Google, Honda, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Philips, Sony, and others.

 

A: AST provides Members with full transparency every step of the way during the patent bid and acquisition process. All information that AST receives during the patent acquisition process is available to Members. All decisions are executed with the full involvement of the participating Members.

A: If you are an operating company and are interested in learning more about AST Membership, please contact us. [LINK TO CONTACT FORM]

AST utilizes a tiered Membership fee starting as low as $25,000 per year.

A: AST’s process of acquiring patents begins with a worldwide network of over 3,000 brokers, operating companies, law firms, academic institutions, individual inventors and other patent holders with patents for sale.

The patent portfolios that are within AST’s technology scope will be distributed to our Member companies for their evaluation and consideration. The Members of AST have the option to join a consortium purchase through AST, purchase the assets themselves, or encourage any other organization to purchase on their behalf.

fAST IP helps ensure that a seller’s portfolio is seen by the top decision-makers at AST’s Member companies.

A: AST has completed acquisitions for as little as $10K and as much as $350M.  The price is determined by the value of the defensive license to our members, each of which makes an independent decision about whether to place an offer and for how much.  With costs collaboratively spread among similarly situated Members, AST has historically acquired assets for less than one-quarter the cost of what Members could acquire on their own.  At the same time, AST makes offers and completes acquisitions that are competitive with industry norms on pricing according to a recent pricing analysis by the Richardson Oliver Law Group

A: AST works across a broad range of high technology areas, including automotive, semiconductor, consumer electronics, social networking, communications (wired and wireless), information technology, medical information systems, software, and lighting and LED applications.  As technology evolves and our membership grows we expand into new areas like wearable technology and Internet of Things.