Evolving Intellectual Property Opportunities, Exposures, and Coverage Issues
Intangible assets now exceed the value of tangible assets in many Fortune 1000 organizations, as well as small and medium-sized private entities. One of the largest and fastest-growing intangible asset classes is intellectual property (IP). With the growth of IP assets, IP litigation is frequently in the spotlight. Recent IP litigation includes a $440 million patent troll verdict against Apple, upheld in 2019, related to secure communications over the internet, and Cox Communications was hit with a $1 billion copyright verdict on December 19, 2019, in a lawsuit alleging that it allowed its internet subscribers to illegally download music. On November 19, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Google v. Oracle, dubbed Silicon Valley’s “Lawsuit of the Decade,” which addresses Oracle’s demand for $9 billion in connection with (1) whether copyright protection extends to a software interface and (2) whether, as the trial court jury found, the petitioner’s use of a software interface in the context of creating a new computer program constitutes fair use.