FAQ

For any other questions, please  contact us.

We are a defensive buyer. AST is a cooperative organization founded in 2007 by a group of operating companies to mitigate the risk of assertions and lawsuits. Our Members are global technology companies including IBM, SONY, GOOGLE, FORD, HONDA, MICROSOFT, CISCO, INTEL and many of their peers.  We act in several capacities for them.  First, we help them to triage patents for sale by providing basic information in a standard format that may include technology and product classifications, patent family information, and reviews of marketing materials.  Then, we arrange offers if one or more companies are interested in a defensive license.  Once we have funding by at least one of our Members, we purchase the portfolio ourselves.  The acquired patents are licensed to our Members who participated in the offer.  Then, we sell the patents to one of our Members or to another party.

Patent owners or their authorized representatives can complete the Submission Form via this link:  https://ast.com/sell-to-ast

 

We will need the following information:

  • Submitter’s Name: This is the name of the contact person. This should either be the owner of the patent(s) (if owned by an individual) or someone with the authority to sell the patent(s) (authorized representative if owned by a company/entity or broker/intermediary who represents the patent owner).
  • Patent Owner’s Name: Name of the company/entity or individual(s) who is the current owner/assignee of the patent.
  • Address: City, State, Zip/Postal Code and Country of the patent owner and/or the patent broker/intermediary.
  • Submitter’s Email Address and Phone Number.
  • Unique Name for Your Offering: This is your reference name or number.
  • Price expectation in US$ (optional).
  • Selection of the Technology Category.
  • Bid/Offer Deadline (optional).
  • Patent List: AST requires at least one active granted patent or published application to consider a portfolio for purchase. Our preference is to review patent families that include at least one issued patent in the US, China, Europe, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, or United Kingdom. You can add the asset numbers in the fields in the Submission Form, download and fill out the “Patent Template” (recommended for multiple patents) and attach the template to the submission or upload your own patent list to your submission in the “Additional Material” field.
  • Provide a Brief Summary or Description of Your Offering.
  • Additional Materials (optional): You can upload any supporting documents that will help our Members better understand your offering and why they should consider acquiring it. These documents may include the patent table template offering descriptions, executive summaries, patent family trees, technical analyses, claim charts/indications of use, white papers, presentations and marketing materials.
  • Provide any additional comments, information, or questions (optional).

We accept submissions from the patent owners (individuals or companies) or their authorized brokers/representatives.  If the patent(s) is ultimately purchased by AST, we are only able to pay entities or individuals that have a US Tax ID Number or Social Security Number. US companies will be required to supply a W-9, foreign companies will be required to provide a Form W-8BEN-E, and individuals will need to supply a Form W-9 (SSN) or a Form W-8BEN. [Note: Forms available at https://www.irs.gov/.]

You will find the complete list of technology categories in which we may have interest by clicking here:  https://www.ast.com/list-of-the-technology-categories-in-which-ast-has-interest/

The current priority technology categories according to our Members are:

  • Advertising & Content Distribution
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
  • Automotive & Transportation Services
  • Cloud Computing
  • Computer Software & Hardware
  • Internet of Things (IOT)
  • Lighting & LED applications
  • Location-Based Services & GPS
  • Medical Devices and Applications
  • Personal Health and Healthcare IT
  • Smart Home and Connected Devices
  • Telecommunication and Wireless Technologies
  • Wearable Devices
  • Web Services and Applications

 

AST’s Standard Patent Acquisition Program is available for submissions all year long.  Patent holders or their representatives looking to sell patents may submit one or multiple patent families per submission.

Families submitted must have at least one active granted patent in the US, China, Europe, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, or United Kingdom.

All submissions are reviewed in the order in which they are received.  AST’s team will contact the submitters with any questions about their submissions or will notify them when their offering is out of AST’s technology scope.  Our initial review is quick and submitters are normally notified of their patent status within three to five days following acknowledgement of receipt of their submission.  If the portfolio is ‘in scope’, it will be listed on our Members-only, password-protected web-accessible database for our Members to consider. 

Generally, it takes our Members 60 to 90 days to take note of an offering, do their initial evaluations, ask questions that we bring to the Broker or Seller, and then, if they are interested, ask AST to place an offer on its behalf.  If the offer is accepted by the Broker and/or Seller, then the AST Team will begin their complete due diligence.

With respect to any submission, you must have the full authority to sell the asset(s), either as the owner or as someone fully empowered by the owner with the authority to sell the asset(s).  While we reserve the right to refuse to transact for any reason, we obviously will not be willing to transact absent satisfactory confirmation on this point.

AST is under no obligation to transact, and the decision to transact on a submitted patent is at AST’s sole discretion.

Please visit https://www.ast.com/sell-to-ast/ for more information on the submission process and to access the Submission Form.

There are no fees or charges to you, the seller or broker, for listing or selling your portfolio with AST.  AST is fully funded from annual contributions made by the AST Member companies.

No. There are no obligations in our Standard Patent Acquisition Program until the execution of a Non-Disclosure Agreement or a Patent Assignment Agreement.  Submitters can withdraw their offering, make changes to their listing and/or offer the assets submitted to AST to other potential buyers at any time until there is a signed Patent Assignment Agreement between AST and the patent owner following the acceptance of an offer.  We do, however, require submitters to agree that the information shared and any related discussions will not be used as a basis to place AST or its members on notice (e.g., for purposes of willfulness, inducement or otherwise) of the patents and patent applications which are offered for sale.

Your patent broker may represent you in your submission to AST. We accept the submissions from the patent owners or their brokers/intermediaries.

No. Your patent portfolio will only be made available to our Members via our system. The content of your listing is information provided by you and any other research that we have done in support of your listing.

Please make only one submission with all the names listed.  The submitter must have the authority to represent all the co-owners on the sale of the assets.

We will accept one or multiple related patent families per submission. You are also free to make multiple submissions.

The Seller may state a price expectation in US$ for the portfolio, although this is not required.  If AST Members are interested in purchasing the portfolio, AST staff will present an offer to the Seller.  The final purchase price will be negotiated between AST and the Seller. 

It is recommended that Sellers research recent comparable patent sales when setting a price expectation. Here are links to articles on our website that address patent sale prices:

https://www.ast.com/news_article/ast-announces-ip3-2018-results/
http://www.ast.com/news_article/ast-announces-ip3-2017-results-2/
http://ast.com/news_article/ip3-results-announced-5-3-million-spent-average-price-96000-per-patent-family/

The price can be a number range (low to mid six figures, six figures, etc.), a specific amount or left blank.

Asking price in royalties or the combination of a US$ amount and royalties will not be accepted.

If a pending application (provisional or non-provisional) is a part of a family with at least one active granted patent in the US, China, Europe, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, or United Kingdom, please submit it. We will not consider submissions with only pending applications.

The main granted patent in the US, China, Europe, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, or United Kingdom must be active at the time of your submission. If the main patent has expired patents or applications as patent family members, please include them in your submission as family members. We will not consider submissions with only expired assets.

Yes. We will consider submissions of design patents.

Yes, please indicate in your submission the asset has been allowed and attach a copy of the Notice of Allowance.

Follow the instructions on the Submission Form in the field “Additional Materials” to include claim charts and other supporting documents with the patent submission.

Yes. Until AST enters into a Non-Disclosure Agreement with the patent owner or broker/intermediary, any information, whether or not marked as confidential or proprietary, will not be confidential or proprietary and we will not have a duty of confidentiality with respect to that information.  Our NDA Standard forms are available to download at these links: NDA Broker Seller for Company 6 19 17 and NDA Seller Individual 1 10 19.  In the Submission Form in the section “Provide any additional comments, information or questions”, please indicate that confidential documents are available upon execution of an NDA and we will contact you.

This information will need to be provided before any purchase.  We prefer to have the information provided with the Submission Form. If not supplied with the submission, the parties that are notified of AST’s tentative intent to purchase must supply all the known encumbrance information related to the patent(s). They will also need to provide us with a list of any enforcement activities relating to the patent (e.g., any active enforcement proceedings), and a list of currently active disputes involving their patent (e.g., any ownership disputes, etc.).

Yes. You may add supporting materials to your offering, add patents, change your price expectation and offer deadline, or withdraw your offering.  You may withdraw your offering until we have brought you an offer to purchase your offering. 

AST makes all purchases on behalf of a group of companies. You will not know, nor can we identify any specific company’s interest in your patent.

You may leave your offering listed for as long as you like.  New Members join AST every year, our current Members can expand their business operations or acquire a company and they can have interest in a portfolio listed for longer than 90 days.  You are free to make changes to your listing (price expectation, patent list, marketing materials, etc.), and offer your patents to other potential buyers.  Also, you may close your listing at any time if you decide to withdraw your offering or if your patents are sold.