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Robert Syputa

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  • Patent stocks rally after Supreme Court's Teva ruling [View news story]
    Here we go again: many are jumping to conclusions of the impact of the US Supreme Court ruling on Teva. The ruling is specific to CAFC's deference to district court interpretations of patent claim construction and not to all evidence or legal proceedings. In some cases, this ruling does either nothing or can enhance the defendants case against the assertion of patents.

    Take Parkervision (PRKR) vs. Qualcomm (QCOM) for example: The district court under Judge Dalton has overturned the jury's finding that Qualcomm had infringed. It did not find for Qualcomm on the JMOL for invalidity. Under the new SC ruling, CAFC is inclined to consider Parkervision's appeal based on the Judge Dalton's MARKMAN ruling on claims interpretation. That had, for the most part, gone along with Parkervision to interpret the patent claims very broadly, thus allegedly casting Qualcomm (and many other potential defendants) into infringement. Parkervision's patents are being challenged in PTAB IPR proceedings and in the appeal to CAFC on the grounds that the broad claims construction is invalid as anticipated by multiple prior art.

    CAFC might otherwise have narrowed the MARKMAN to exclude some prior art. Although that might also have further excluded PV's patents from covering Qualcomm's products, the impact of the Supreme Court ruling is to assure that Parkervision's patents will be declared invalid.
    Jan 20, 2015. 08:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Updating My Outlook For AT&T And Verizon [View article]
    I agree with your revised view. Concerns about inflation has eased due to macroeconomic events: the rising supply of oil and gas alternatives has driven down the inflationary pressures that might otherwise arise as US economy growth takes a firmer hold. Growth in China has moderated downward. Much has been made of slowing growth in the China and the BRIC countries - while I do not think this is as precipitous or has as much influence on how the US economy will do than some analysts suggest, it does take pressure off of supply of raw inputs and lowers consumer goods inflationary pressures. The rapid decline in oil prices has led to a swing in the pendulum from concerns of inflation to concerns of deflationary price spiral. I don't think either is the case due to the more complex, international spread of markets that has balanced these factors in the past decade. Remember the saying "When America sneezes, the world economy catches a cold"? That has not been the case since the dramatic rise in the BRIC economies has occurred to the point that what happens in the USA, Europe or any single major economic block has become muted by offsets elsewhere.

    That has helped balance out domestic concerns about impacts of inflation - the US can continue to see growth because this is muted by slowing or declines in pricing of raw economic inputs and can contribute to a better and more sustainable balance of exports vs. imports. Domestic industries that are highly debt leveraged thus benefit from both a growing economy, in some cases expanding exports, and, meanwhile, low costs of borrowing. In the case of the leading ICT/mobile companies, Verizon and AT&T, the picture looks pretty darn good: Low interest rates to afford expansion into new spectrum-networks and bringing up of video/TV services and 'personal broadband' into the home and on mobile devices at a pace that outstrips what Sprint or T-Mobile can now afford.

    Jan 9, 2015. 12:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision obtains up to $7M in legal funding [View news story]
    This is the dying breaths of a boondoggle of a hayride.
    Dec 28, 2014. 10:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision: Investors Need To Watch Both The Courts And The USPTO Over Next 18 Months [View article]
    Judge Dalton, after careful consideration of the evidence in the case, decided as he should have. He gave indication of what he would do for the phase of the trial he was entertaining at that time, which was before fully considering QC's JMOL on infringement. The complexity of the technology requires understanding of details of the circuit, the claims, and evidence. The fact that Judge Dalton may have reversed an opinion made prior to the time he would consider the JMOL and evaluate the evidence in careful deliverance is welcomed but not unusual or misplaced.

    I had thought that DC judge would uphold the jury decision because the odds are often in favor. Prior to the trial, I thought PV/McKool would base their case on creating a story line of mistreatment on the part of big bad Qualcomm and that this might result in a faulty ruling that would then face appeal by Qualcomm. The only surprise is that Judge Dalton saw the light prior to having had his nose snubbed into the facts as presented by Qualcomm by a CAFC reversal. J.D. made the right decision and it will, with zero odds for reversal by Parkervision/McKool imo.
    Dec 26, 2014. 07:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision: Investors Need To Watch Both The Courts And The USPTO Over Next 18 Months [View article]
    Your post puts those who think Parkervisions patents are likely invalid as 'bashers'.. I have thought PV's patents to be invalid for about 15 years and, therefore, consider the PTAB ruling to be a confirmation and a concrete step towards invalidation. My calling it a zero chance is my educated opinion... and its the same as I have expressed repeatedly over the years. While PTAB is yet to hold the IPR and make such a ruling, the odds are extremely good imo.

    Longs have gone down a path going from declaring that the jury verdict would result in a large award and expressing that Dalton was a good judge. This ignored facts in the case, namely that Parkervision lacked evidence to support a ruling of infringement. When Dalton reversed the jury verdict, longs turned on his judgement and need for evidence of actual infringement. The issue of invalidity, which Dalton mentioned in his ruling, has seldom been brought up.

    My long standing conviction is that Parkervision's patents are invalid both because there is prior art that will render most if not all claims invalid and because the patents fail to clearly teach the claimed invention. Both of these points have been made in Judge Dalton's decision and have now been confirmed by PTAB.

    The odds of a District Court ruling being reversed is about 17% from recent studies of historical rulings. The chance for an IPR ruling resulting in one or more claims declared invalid is over 50%. The compounded odds of either of these to result in either a sustained DC ruling or striking of claims that would require a retrial is very high. The odds of a new trial resulting in a similarly outlandish award as the first jury verdict is, imo, extremely low. The compounded odds make this investment look outside the margin for the more risk tolerant investors to consider imo.

    However, its your money and you can bet how you wish. Either through PTAB IPR or a CAFC ruling, this case looks headed towards a conclusion within a year to 18 months.
    Dec 26, 2014. 07:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision: Investors Need To Watch Both The Courts And The USPTO Over Next 18 Months [View article]
    You are avoiding two issues:
    The IPR petition was approved by PTAB with strong indication independent claims will be invalidated. That does not leave things as they were on the appeal.
    Secondly, the odds of gaining a reversal on appeal from CAFC have now become less than the 17% average odds of winning a reversal of a district court decision. I cannot find a direct corollary case. Anyone who is unbiased has to conclude the odds have gone down by a high percentage/

    Long investors only gain if they find suckers to place the same bets they had placed at time when the risks were lower. My opinion is PRKR has virtually zero chance of success in their legal battles and now is wrapping things up behind eh scenes. The new staunch of $7 million is mostly a scam: it is offered by an unknown litigation LLC and details are suspiciously elusive.
    Dec 24, 2014. 09:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Sprint And The Severe Market Overreaction [View article]
    Is it too late for Sprint to set out on a profitable path? It will take fundamental changes in how Sprint designs and deploys networks and how that is coordinated throughout the organization. Thus far, Sprint has continued to lag and shows little signs of making substantive changes needed.

    There remains a chance that Softbank could acquire DISH or pursue aggressive ground up marketing and deployments, but that remains a long shot imo. The timing now depends obtaining some 20-40MHz of 600MHz incentive auction spectrum. The costs, innovation, and time frame needed to deploy as the high capacity 'massively smallcell' operator make it unlikely to play catch up using the 2.6GHz band 41 spectrum.

    The course Sprint is on looks practical at getting Sprint to a more even playing field when what it would take to gain substantial share is being at the top in competition. Customers are not won by mediocrity.
    Dec 21, 2014. 07:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sprint And The Severe Market Overreaction [View article]
    There have been things Sprint should have long started on as an evolutionary pathway: Pursue user deployed network devices in 2.5GHz-2.6GHz or to have forgone it in favor of pursuing lower frequency bands as have all other competitors.

    Because Sprint was heading towards a day when competitors would gain access to easier to use wideband spectrum, Sprint either had to find a way to bring down the 2X-4X higher deployment cost to achieve requisite network density. The only feasible way was to have pursued smallcells with at least two thirds of them deployed by users.

    The current competitive trend that has lapped Sprint, once the only operator with 'wideband spectrum', is the use of 802.11ac Wi-Fi and preparing for or starting deployments for LTE-Fi or unlicensed cognitive radio/interference-mit... technology enhanced local cell/smallcell LTE with both LTE and WiFi fan out to individual users/points.

    Sprint would now be the "me too" follower of this trend behind T-Mobile, Verizon. However, Sprint has been poorly organized to take on that challenge. They needed someone like Steve Jobs to kick their behinds many years ago to push them on the right track. Sprint certainly didn't listen much to what I wrote over the years.
    Dec 21, 2014. 07:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision: Investors Need To Watch Both The Courts And The USPTO Over Next 18 Months [View article]
    Your windmill must tilt towards lollipops and fairy tales.
    Dec 21, 2014. 06:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision: Investors Need To Watch Both The Courts And The USPTO Over Next 18 Months [View article]
    Why entertain that improbability? PTAB did what has been expected of them. They will give Parkervision a fair chance to enlighten the judges that they a) have evidence that Qualcomm's circuit operates in a manner consistent with the Markman claims construction and yet are not invalidated by the overwhelming body of prior art. PRKR failed to live up to standards of proof in the District Court case. The PTAB panel is far better versed in communications technology and prior art. PRKR's technology has never taught a clear method and yet what they allege to teach goes outside the bounds of the rules of basic signaling. Those rules are bound by the laws of physics that have been tested beyond reproach. Any worthy physics student understands well enough that laws that are easily proven are far more reliable than the 'law' that the sun always rises.
    Dec 21, 2014. 06:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision: Investors Need To Watch Both The Courts And The USPTO Over Next 18 Months [View article]
    In a nutshell, the PTAB ruling, although preliminary, holds that there is reasonable likelihood that the independent claims of Parkervision's core '551 patent is anticipated by prior art and, thus invalid.

    Parkervision's CEO, Jeff Parker, gave a perfunctory response, mentioning that one claim is omitted from the ruling. A reading of the claims and PTAB ruling show this is no saving grace: the independent claims judged reasonably likely to be invalid cover the basic methods Parkervision's portfolio of patents is built. The entire house of cards will tumble down if PTAB rules as it looks likely.
    Dec 20, 2014. 09:53 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision to face IPR trials for 14 patent claims [View news story]
    The PTAB action makes it reasonably certain that Parkervision's lawsuit against Qualcomm will be rendered moot. PTAB ruled that there is a "reasonable likelihood that Petitioner would prevail with respect to each of claims 1, 23, 25, 161, 193, and 202 of the ’551 patent. The '551 patent is Parkervision's core patent on what they call D2D, Direct to Digital, technology that they have alleged Qualcomm's 3G-4G wireless chips infringe.
    Dec 20, 2014. 09:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sprint And The Severe Market Overreaction [View article]
    "To the extent that customers are leaving AT&T and Verizon, we would expect a healthy percentage of them are moving to Sprint... In the end, only time will tell the exact margin discount that Sprint will have to swallow, but expect...for the discounts to be offset by the resale synergies that will be produced in conjunction with Brightstar."

    The problem with that statement is that Brightstar serves competitors including Verizon and all major operators have been pursuing similar recycling of phones through foreign markets and other strategies used by Brightstar. Sprint probably had the most ground to be made up but much of the gains relative to competitors have likely been achieved: a) Reducing the number of supported networks and subsequent devices. b) Recycling of devices through Brightstar, c) Wholesale supply through Brightstar in conjunction with Softbank to achieve higher volume discounts. Brightstar may also be used to consolidate supply and seek support among device suppliers for spectrum band and mode support, particularly support for TD-LTE band 41 used by Sprint. However, that can be viewed as enabling Sprint to get on the same competitive field as operators using bands that have already gained device support and not a status quo changing factor.

    Some other points:

    I agree with the post that no major wireless operator has (been allowed to) gone bankrupt. The wireless industry is a state-sanctioned monopoly based on licensed spectrum. As poorly as Sprint has been managed in the past it remains in the club of regulated enterprise that have never (been allowed) to go BK. Besides that, Softbank pursues long term goals among which is to follow industry and technology trends that make use of higher frequency bands more feasible and needed over time. SB/Masa Son may not be enamored to pump large amount of fresh capital into Sprint (for which they would want increased stake, diluting stock investors), however, SB should be inclined to prevent Sprint from going bankrupt through cost cutting, cost synergies, including through Brightstar, and help in device and market development.

    Without some form of acquisition or partnership, for example with DISH, Sprint looks like the walking dead zombie stock... not completely dead (bankrupt), but not thriving as well as its three competitors. The core reason for that is Sprint has a mis-aligned spectrum portfolio and network bandwidth-to-coverage device and deployment strategy that will continue to result in higher cost to deliver competitive service. The 700MHz auction might eventually rectify the inequalities.. some three+ years from now... if the field has not moved on to capture the next leg of higher density and TV/media network development while Sprint remains struggling to hold its head above water.

    Softbank's motivation to continue to support Sprint despite lackluster prospects is that eventually the 2.5-2.6GHz band 41 will come more into favor as, as ITU calls it, the 'broadband expansion band'. Rising tides do eventually lift even the boats in the languishing tidal flats. After All, Softbank acquired Sprint for about 60% of what Sprint had once paid for Nextel Netwrecks, er Networks.

    Getting back to the headline: Has the market overreacted?

    Short term Sprint looks oversold imo. However, the entire sector has become oversold such that VZ, T, and T-Mobile as well look similarly attractive as bounce candidates. Sprint has major questions hanging over it, namely, the impacts of recent price cuts and twists in marketing are highly speculative. Is Sprint gaining more than a token number of new subscribers? Is that enough, when combined with recent cost cutting, to result in reasonably healthy margins?

    A lower price strategy must result in sizeable gains in subscribers to make sense: I have not tried to run numbers due to unknown impact of cost cuts etc., however, a rough guess is that Sprint (S) needs to gain 1.5-3 million core postpaid subscribers annually for the new cost strategy to become a path forward rather than a quickening of an apparent death march.
    Dec 15, 2014. 11:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T Is Feeling The Headwind [View article]
    In some respects AT&T is on a path that has less uncertainty than recent years: They have a reasonable amount of spectrum and plans to acquire more that will fulfill needs over the next five years or so. The choice of network technologies and how to deploy is well enough on a glide path to not be a major concern. Basic choices, such as staying with HSPA+ versus deploying LTE have been determined and enough spectrum put to use to allow further conversions and spectrum deployments to occur without disruption of the early shortfalls in capacity caused by introduction of the data hungry iPhone and Android SmartPhones.

    Overall, AT&T and Verizon have sufficient pricing power to not be forced into a downward price spiral. It is necessary, however, for the two to deliver more for less as the network and device technologies come to market that do more with less spectrum, less power, and lower operating costs. Despite recent competition, US operators enjoy higher ARPUs and among the healthiest margins of any industry of similar scale. While competition might heat up, the two antagonists, Sprint and T-Mobile are unable to break down VZ and T's barriers to create an even playing field of competition. While that may change if T-Mobile is able to gain share similarly for a few years, thus far the shift in marketshare is a couple percent. In the overall context of the past few years, T-mobile is doing no better than making up lost share of industry growth taken by the duopolists.
    Nov 4, 2014. 04:09 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision Asserted Patents Are Invalid - Read The IPR Petitions [View article]
    Wrong: The way to find tech stocks to short is to start with a knowledge of the field of technology the company claims to be inventing new technology. The value of the company's products can be either proven in the marketplace or proven through willingness/precedent established in licensing, usually through an open vetting process such as the standards groups, or by a successful legal precedent.

    Parkervision has had neither to establish its claims credentials. The USPTO, imo and as recently recognized by the Circuit and Supreme Courts, has gone astray in granting hundreds of thousands of claims (per US SC) which were either anticipated by the prior art or did not teach a clear invention. Several years before this was recognized, I saw it in my study of thousands of patents in the wireless field... which itself is a pretty buttoned down area of technology. Parkervision made 'extraordinary claims' about their D2D invention which I reviewed when the 1st patents were filed. The claims did not hold up under scrutiny.. vague and not usable/teachable of an invention. However, I never shorted PRKR.. which I should have when it shot up on wild speculation.

    Many patents I review are categorized according to potential for the field: a) Irrelevant or junk.. file in the discard folder/search tag. b) Interesting tech but not likely to become used.. file in a pending further/later review folder. c) Tech likely to get used.. of which these are further evaluated according to how useful, what other tech might be involved, etc. Parkervision's patents were filed in the a) group. However, because the company was pretty unique in its ability to remake itself and sell new sets of promises and stock, I kept going back to see if new filings or encouraging signs of use might have changed my earlier determination. Nothing has ever changed that. The patents remain unused/unusable as the claims are unclear and do not teach an invention that has been demonstrated in simulations, chips, license deals involving real products, or in court where Judge Dalton came to similar, although narrower conclusions.

    The first thing to understand is whether the patents teach a worthwhile and valid invention. In PV's case they never have.

    I initially left out that there was one aspect of the claims that might have been developed into a teachable invention.. however it never was. An approach for continuous energy sampling is being pursued for cognitive radio that vaguely intones PV's technology... vaguely because PV's patents are vague and do not clearly teach an invention. The new field of development has not, to my knowledge, moved forward into commercial products yet. Maybe Parkervision will become reborn as the "wide adaptive spectrum/cognitive radio RF solution of the future!" Get out the snakeoil wagon and paint on new slogans.. for suckers are born every minute who will likely bite, hook, line and sinker.
    Oct 28, 2014. 07:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment