New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/03/2012 -- The first huge global stars were Movie Stars, and then came a new era and we got Rock Stars. Now in the modern connected and wired millennium there are Patent Stars and they command earnings more than 98% of Movie Stars and Rock Stars!
Patents have become the new high value commodity among tech and media corporations. Take for instance Microsoft’s recent patent acquisition from AOL. Microsoft, which just bought patents from AOL for US$1 billion, is now turning around and selling most of them to Facebook for US$550 million. Easier understood: Microsoft paid $1,081,081 PER PATENT. Then they turned around and sold part of the portfolio. The buyer? Facebook.
Facebook is buying about 650 of the 925 AOL patents and patent applications that Microsoft bought, and that equates to Facebook paying $846,153 for each patent they wanted from the portfolio. As an added bobus, Facebook will also get a license to use the rest of the AOL patents that Microsoft bought.
Facebook's general counsel, Ted Ullyot, called the move a "significant step in our ongoing process of building an intellectual property portfolio to protect Facebook's interests over the long term". Protecting ones interest? How much is that worth? Keep reading, because you might just be amazed.
The USPTO records indicate there are 3 different types of inventors:
The One-Ups- This is the single inventor with usually one patented idea – this is 92% of the total US Patent Market. Almost 99% if these patents never make any money or accomplish any licensing.
The Corp-Devs – These are the Inventors that are part of a Corporation and by being part of the traditional corporate development cycle they have the development funds of a corporation behind them and are able to generate tremendous volume of patents. An example would be someone inside a Sony or Nokia and these accounts for 7.7% of the US patent Market.
Now comes the 0.03%
The Portfolio Pioneers or Matrix Moguls – These guys are the rouge separatists who are possibly the most creative minds in the world and major corporations are paying BIG BUCKS to play ball with these types. These are the guys that develop for themselves, either in context of developing an overall patent portfolio or a “picket fence matrix defensive patent portfolio”. They are the Movie Stars, Rock Stars of the Patent World. These new information gurus dubbed, Patent Stars, have literally hundreds of patents in the US and can be several thousand across each country that grants patents around the world.
Patent Stars make more than your average Movie Star and Rock Star
Two such Portfolio Pioneers and Matrix Moguls are Jay Walker of Priceline.com fame and Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, the Father of Modern “Scan to Connect” and “Scan Commerce” – you know scan a code or bar code and connect. The uniqueness of this type of Inventor is NOT that they are inventing and patenting, but that their inventions are creating new major billion dollar industries out of nowhere. Bidding on Travel and Hotel Reservations and the rash of sites and the new business that cropped up over the years are a direct result of Jay Walker and his vision. Walker’s vision was huge, gained momentum and took off immediately.
Pulitzer on the other hand was a full decade ahead of the adoption curve of his vision. His Cuecat achieved over 1,000,000 users in the first 30 days and did it with both a novel device and a huge idea, but he caught tremendous media flack. Walker tapped something that existed – travel and reservations, Pulitzer on the other hand had to launch the product AND try to teach the world why they needed to scan, and in the back biting world of media completion and one-upmanship, those who were not Pulitzers’ media partners took shots at both him and his technology. In fact, the mocking of CueCat and its inventor became the “thing to do” until a decade later over 200,000,000 people now scan to connect.
Patents have become a valuable commodity for technology companies in recent years, and companies frequently use them in lawsuits against one another. Joff Wild at IAM stated “The National Science Foundation in the US has published its Science and Engineering Indicators. This is a substantial piece of work that “focuses on the trend in the United States and many other parts of the world toward the development of more knowledge-intensive economies, in which research, its commercial exploitation, and other intellectual work play a growing role".
Walker has decided to put the whole world on notice for the violation of his patents and fight the hard, but potentially lucrative fight, based on the Lemelson Foundation approach to patents. Risky, expensive but can payout to the tune of Billions. Pulitzer’s patents, which started being developed when he was a media personality, just known by the one word moniker “Jovan” even though his birth name was Philyaw, saw fit to merge his patents into a massive patent consolidator. Pulitzer, now known as the Father of “Scan to Connect” and “Scan Commerce” spawned a billion dollar industry from a simple and obvious idea and his 200 plus patents are now key part of an astounding Patent Aggregation Portfolio Company, RPX, which has a market valuation just shy of $1 Billion US.
In the end, where a top Movie Star can get $1,000,000 to $10,000,000 per film and may make 20 such films in their lifetime, Patent Creators on the other hand can sell a single patent for as much as $1,000,000 – to $2,000,000 and can generate in excess of 400-1000 such patents in their lifetime. When you run the numbers, it’s easy to see have today’s Patent Stars are top money earners just like our beloved Movie Stars and Sports Stars.
Damn, why didn’t I think of that?