Cubicibuc Limited

Cubicibuc is an independent technical consulting firm specializing in matters relating to Intellectual Property. We are dedicated to providing pragmatic commercial and technical advice to clients ranging from smaller start-ups to mature multinationals; from early stage invention capture through to exploitation and monetisation of IP assets.

Great Intellectual Property management that protects value

Good IP management protects competitive advantage; generates returns on R&D and secures finance.

We provide expert IP support: IP strategy development; health check and audit; tech transfer and M&A due diligence; and expert witness support over a range of technologies and sectors.

IP matters are often thought of as legal issues, but best practice IP management shows that IP strategy must be closely aligned with business strategy and product or service development. Therefore IP matters are not purely legal, but have direct impact on shareholder value.   Organisations that do not control their IP (generation, capture, management and exploitation) risk investments in R&D or building deliverables that are not commercially attractive. Poor IP management can lead to leakage of competitive advantage, real or spurious litigation or loss of product revenues.
Good IP management allows business to protect its competitive advantage; to generate returns on R&D investment and to secure investment and finance. Modern businesses neglect their IP assets at their risk as poor IP management gives away value and reduces barriers to entry for competitors compromising the organisation's capabilities.   To manage IP well business must adopt a combination of commercial, legal and technical expertise.
Cubicibuc supports its clients by:
  • providing confidential and independent IP strategy advice
  • performing IP audits, health checks
  • supporting commercial negotiation, tech transfer, licensing and litigations 
We work with businesses ranging from smaller start-ups to mature multinationals; from early stage invention capture through to exploitation and monetisation of IP assets. 

Products and services

Cubicibuc Limited
Strategic IP

Intellectual Property (IP) is the most important assets that businesses have. IP codifies the expertise, skills and capability of a business; IP identifies the specific applications, technologies and products that the business creates. The ability to identify, manage and exploit IP is therefore a critical skill to acquire especially for technology-rich, product developers.

IP business analysis provides organisation vital intelligence to:

  • Share knowledge internally and externally across department and disciplines. In turn this leads to greater productivity, greater innovation and increased motivation
  • Maximise the value of your investment in R&D and your IP assets. Make strategic decisions about which Intellectual Assets to protect, which to share and which to avoid
  • Manage external relationships and contracts with more confidence. A knowledge of your IP provides leverage when negotiating contracts; a knowledge of your competitors’ IP gives you competitive business intelligence that informs business strategy
  • Generate revenue by exploiting the value held in your IP through licensing or sale.
Competitor analysis and landscaping

Most consumer and FMCG products are so complex that identifying related patents and the associated patent owners is a significant problem, and one that is often overlooked. Yet weak IP management risks the ability of business to maintain its competitive advantage or worse still exposes the business to licensing costs and potential litigation.

When companies launch new products the increased profile inevitably brings increased interest from third parties that hold IP, which may be, or may be claimed to be, relevant to the products. The perceived risks of intellectual property infringement, including potential injunctions from competitors can have a negative effect on stakeholder decisions: including customers, suppliers and investors.

Having an understanding of the competitive positions, potential responses and armory at your disposal helps prepare for potential conflict and reduce the delay to respond.
Understanding the IP landscape relating to your technology and products, and those of your competitors allows you to:

  • Identify the ownership of relevant patents and IP
  • Develop benchmark royalty rates
  • Identify potential risk and create mitigating action plans
  • Prepare for licensing negotiation on an equal footing with potential licensors.
Licensing, litigation and Royalties While the risks of injunctions from competitors using patents, particularly Standards Essential Patents (SEPs), appears to have reduced over recent years there are still real risks from patent enforcement.
A key element of the business case for wireless enabled products is the licensing cost for Standards Essential IP, and whether indemnifications are provided by suppliers. While it is commonplace for manufacturers to commence production without all licences in place, it is also prudent to make provisions for future licence demands. As consumer electronics products become commoditised the available margin and sensitivity to such licensing provisions is increasingly important.
The activities of Non-Practicing Entities only complicates the picture as NPEs are often immune to counter cross-licensing negotiations. NPE also reduce ownership transparency and dissipate the patent landscape making royalty rate benchmarking difficult. 

There are many steps to understanding your position in licensing and royalty calculations, but you need to consider:

  • Patent mappings to features used or embedded in the product
  • Patent map to features of a technical standard used by the product (potentially SEPs)
  • How the patent relates to the wider patent landscape associated with the technology – and hence the relative size of the patent portfolio to the entire patent landscape.
  M&A and transaction support

While it is common to hear that a large part of an organization’s value is associated with its IP, it is uncommon to see much effort spent on actually reviewing that IP during M&A activities. Typical commercial contracts rely on post-transaction remedies in the form of reps and warranties, rather than taking the time to review the package of IP (patents, know-how, design documents, manufacturing instructions etc) ahead of the transaction itself. 

In the absence of a pragmatic, technically driven IP due diligence process, any gaps in the IP transfer process typically lead to costly project recovery exercises which add costs to the process and delay any potential integration.

When looking at acquiring IP from any source organizations must be sure that all necessary and sufficient elements are present - that the kit of parts and instructions for use have been reviewed and independently verified. 

IP Assurance, as it is sometimes known, allows both seller and buyer to benefit from the independent review. For the seller it ensures the right kits of parts is transfers - to reduce the risk of future claims - but only the necessary IP, nothing more. A seller may also be able to demonstrate the value of the IP when it is packages well. 

For the buyer the risk of acquiring IP with missing components is reduced, hence allowing the buyers ability to integrate the solutions more quickly. The buyer also has the comfort that the IP has been independently verified.

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