The world of patent law is highly opaque to most observers. To have authority in this world, not only must one be a member of legal priesthood, one must be a member of the engineering priesthood as well. This high barrier to entry makes it very difficult for clients to make data-driven distinctions between patent law firms. Firms are traditionally selected by reputation or based on relationships and the quality of their work rarely enters the equation. IP Street's Patent Claim Scope algorithm enables users to transcend this word-of-mouth analysis by providing measurable quality metrics for a patent law firm's actual work product, the claim text.
Too often, firms are are caught off guard when an existing company or a new one enters their market. In the era of social media and billion-dollar deals, being reactionary to new competition can be devastating to even giant firms. Many markets are ripe for external disruption.
In early 2015, an anonymous source leaked 11.5 million confidential documents relating to offshore entities represented by Panamanian corporate services firm, Mossack Fonseca. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has been diligently working their way through this glut of documents for the last year and published their first findings on April 3rd, 2016.
While journalists and law enforcement comb the documents for hints of financial irregularities, we at IP Street can't help be realized that there is an intellectual property angle to this story as well. Assigning patent assets to offshore companies has long been used as an effective tax mitigation strategy and privacy laws in many of the tax haven countries makes it nearly impossible to identify who owns what patents. Patent privateering is a very real thing but analyzing the scope of its use is exceeding difficult. The Panama Papers offer us a unique opportunity to look behind the curtain and see how these shell games really work and who's playing them.