IP Zone, the IP deals platform originally launched by American Express in 2011, has been spun out of the payments giant. The new positioning is anticipated to help it become a much more active player in the actual execution of deals involving a broad range of IP assets and technology products. The newly independent entity will continue to use the IP Zone name and will be headed by Tracey Thomas, who has left his job as American Express’s Chief IP Strategist.
The IP Zone provides patent owners with a platform in which to engage in the licensing or disposal of their assets. It has also partnered with a third party to fund and develop an accelerator for IP-rich start-ups that are considering which steps to take next with their IP-protected technology, including formulating and executing business strategies.
“The IP Zone was built for very pragmatic reasons — to aid in the licensing and selling of corporate IP,” Thomas explained in an interview with the IAM blog. “I wanted a way to efficiently scale transaction activity.” It is clear that Thomas’s expectation is that as an independent entity IP Zone can become a much more hands-on player in deals, such as making particular recommendations for buyers of assets in a specific sector and raising funds. The initial idea is to allow companies to join for a range of prices for the base platform and then to sell services to them from the platform.