Below is our recent interview with Dr. Roya Ghafele, Managing Director at OxFirst:
Q: What makes OxFirst unique?
A: OxFirst is an intellectual property (IP) law and economics consultancy with significant expertise in IP valuation and strategy and we were recently named best IP Valuation Firm 2023 in the Lawyer International Legal 100 list, the third consecutive year we have won this award. Over the last twelve years, our rigorous and comprehensive IP analysis has supported Fortune 100 companies, law firms, private equity firms and public institutions in better understanding and utilising their IP. We provide novel and unique perspectives in an uncomplicated way to help our clients efficiently achieve their goals. OxFirst is a spinout from the University of Oxford and we retain very close links with the university to this day. Based in London and Oxford, OxFirst works with clients from across the globe.
Q: What businesses would benefit from IP valuation?
A: An OxFirst IP valuation can benefit innovative companies of all sizes, from the newest startup to the largest multinational.
For scale up businesses an OxFirst IP Valuation can be particularly useful. These companies often have as substantial assets IP, and so an effective IP valuation can be the difference between success and failure. For example, questions will often be asked about the IP owned by the firm. Being able to communicate in precise terms the value of the company’s IP will assist in securing the opportunities that will sustain and grow it into the future. Whilst others will often content themselves with a simple Freedom to Operate search, an OxFirst IP valuation goes much further by comprehensively assessing of potential revenues, risks and opportunities associated with the IP. In this way, the company has the information it needs to achieve the successes it desires.
For an established company the utility of an OxFirst IP valuation is different but no less valuable. These are more likely to have large IP portfolios which are not being optimally utilised. Studies show that whilst patent filings grow consistently year on year, only a fraction of IP is successfully commercialised. This is a missed opportunity. An OxFirst IP valuation assists in identifying new commercial opportunities, supporting the development and expansion of licensing programmes and ensuring that licensing rates sought are appropriate for the market. It also helps to identify a company’s IP liabilities, and advantageously eliminate that IP which is not contributing to business success. An OxFirst IP valuation therefore also supports the development of evidence-based IP and business strategies by clearly and concisely articulating to key decision-makers what the value proposition of their IP portfolio is.
Q: What makes an OxFirst IP valuation different?
A: OxFirst valuations are so successful because they communicate in a swift and uncomplicated manner why IP matters to the company and assign a clear monetary value to it. At OxFirst we combine rigorous, comprehensive and bespoke approaches to IP valuation with a commitment to concise, business-focussed communication of vital insights. An OxFirst IP valuation approaches the question from a business perspective as well as an economic and legal perspective. We understand that that a good IP valuation is, in part, a translation exercise, and our business focus effectively communicates to senior decision-makers and other stakeholders – who may not have a technical or legal background – the information they need to make informed, effective choices about IP. Over the past twelve years we have honed our valuation techniques to acquire, assess and utilise the essential data that will give our clients the unique insight and competitive edge they are looking for from their IP. It is a testament to our unique and forward-looking approach to the economics of IP that OxFirst is at the forefront of thought leadership in IP valuation, and our research is regularly published in leading journals.
Q: What are some examples where OxFirst IP valuation has helped businesses?
A: Recently, an OxFirst IP valuation was used by an established software company with a substantial international patent portfolio in the context of an equity acquisition worth several hundred million US dollars. The company had around 800 granted patents, with applications made for almost 3,000 more. OxFirst undertook a comprehensive analysis of this extensive portfolio in a very short timeframe to deliver unique, invaluable and defensible insights that made a substantive contribution to the successful conclusion of this transaction, which will accelerate the continued development of the company.
On another occasion, OxFirst acted as an IP valuation expert in a patent sale. The high-tech firm owned some interesting intellectual property, but those had to be first identified. The valuation of the IP was crucial to identify interested trading partners, helped with price formation, and was vital to the success of the commercial transaction.
Similarly, in another instance, an OxFirst patent portfolio analysis enabled a high-tech firm to sell patents worth ¼ its annual turnover, with the OxFirst IP valuation forming the cornerstone of the IP transaction. OxFirst conducted an independent assessment of the patents subject to the transaction and determined an appropriate price for the technology transfer. This work involved a comprehensive due diligence assessment of the IP in question, a study of its technological and legal strength, and a thorough investigation of the market associated with the transaction.
OxFirst also completed an IP valuation for a scale-up company that developed a technology for extracting precious metals from electronic waste (mobile phones, laptops, etc.) OxFirst valued the patents underpinning this technology and, through this work, was able to lead the company on a path to novel revenue generation. OxFirst developed a licensing programme, determined appropriate licensing rates and assisted with identifying first clients. OxFirst’s IP valuation also enabled the firm to reassess its worth, supporting its communication with investors and enabling substantial capital to be raised, further supporting the company’s onward growth.
Q: How can I get more information about OxFirst and its work?
A: The best way is to get in touch with our experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also regularly host webinars on interesting and important questions in the IP space – follow us on LinkedIn and our website to learn about these great events. Our experts are often publishing engaging thought leadership articles too; be sure to take a look at those here.