About Us

AST’s Mission

AST_Mission-min

We are an independent member-based, not-for-profit cooperative that helps companies who use innovative technologies mitigate the risk of patent assertions and litigation by securing rights from patents available on the open market. AST’s unique solution helps companies before adversarial patent litigation may occur.

Our proactive patent defense approach provides our Members with a highly efficient, cost effective and proven method of analyzing patent purchase opportunities and of ultimately completing defensive patent acquisitions.

AST Through the Years

AST is proud to be celebrating our 10-year anniversary.

We began as an experiment by a handful of our nation’s biggest tech leaders who sought a more effective way to combat unwanted patent assertions and litigation. Nothing like this had ever been done before. The result was AST, a thoroughly groundbreaking Member-driven collaborative where representatives from various industries could work together to mitigate risk and promote a better functioning IP marketplace.

Today our mission is more significant than ever, and AST now includes Member companies from across multiple industries including information technology, software, semiconductors, communications, automotive, health tech, and social media.

On behalf of AST, I would like to thank all our valued Members, former Members and the patent sellers we’ve been fortunate to have worked with for a successful 10 years. I am convinced that the only thing as exciting as our past is our future together.

Russell Binns
Chief Executive Officer, AST

2004

2004

Commerce One’s patent portfolio sale is completed in 2004, sending a clear signal to the market of the growing threat of NPEs to the patent industry

NPE and operating company patent litigations begin to rise

2005 - 2006

Several major US companies come together to begin discussions about addressing the need for new risk mitigation solutions to combat patent assertion entities following Commerce One sale

2007

AST’s Trust Agreement is finalized Jan 1st incorporating innovative elements such as game theory and a catch and release mechanism

AST identifies founding principles and sets objectives and strategy of the organization

Hewlett Packard, Kodak, Motorola and Sun Microsystems become the Founding Members of AST

Allied Security Trust established as a Delaware Statutory Trust on Jan 1st

Initial membership is capped at 24 companies

Brian Hinman appointed CEO of the Trust in March

2008

AST adds five new Members including IBM, Google, Avaya and Philips, marking its first health tech company to join the organization

AST completes its first portfolio sale in May

Daniel P. McCurdy appointed CEO of the Trust in August

Plans begin to develop for a proprietary, automated system to allow Members to readily evaluate patents on the open market and facilitate patent transactions, which becomes fAST IP nearly two years later

2009

2009

AST begins building dozens of relationships with seller network

AST’s Membership expands to the cable/communications content industry in addition to adding other large technology companies

2010

fAST IP, AST’ s web-enabled, Members-only tool to access, analyze and search our patent database, goes live – June 14

NPEs/PAEs initiated 29% of all patent litigation in 2010

AST adds three other prominent Members, including another major cable company, increasing Membership to 19

2011

AST adds first social media Member in addition to two other Members exceeding 20 Members in total

Dan McCurdy named to IAM list of 50 people who shape the patent market

2012 - 2013

MIPS Technologies agrees to sale of patent properties to AST in 2012 for $350M

NPEs/PAEs initiated 62% of all patent litigation in 2012

Membership expands to the LED sector along with Microsoft, Sony and other large companies, increasing Membership to 27

2014

2014-2015

Dan McCurdy named to IAM Top 40 Market Makers

Russell W. Binns appointed CEO of the Trust in July 2014

AST’s Membership expands to include two major auto companies, Ford and Honda (2015), boosting Membership to 29 with an additional tech company

2016

AST launches new website in April: ast.com

IP3 – Industry Patent Purchase Program is launched in May with 21 of the world’s largest companies READ MORE >

Membership reaches 33 Members

Russell Binns, CEO, named to the 2016 IAM Magazine list of “the world’s elite IP deal makers” in October READ MORE >

fAST IP new developments in December include new designs of Lot Search and Lot Detail pages

2017

2017

AST celebrates its 10th Anniversary with its current Membership representing top global companies from a wide-range of industries including Avaya, Ford, Google, Honda, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Philips, and Sony

Russell W. Binns, CEO named as one of IAM’s IP Personalities of 2016 READ MORE >