The Real Value Of Motorola’s Patents When Compared To Others

image

Almost everyone in the tech industry feels that Google’s acquisition of Motorola was all about Patents and about neither their technology nor their talents. With Motorola’s patents playing an important role, lets take a look at the real value of Motorola’s patents. First and foremost, Motorola’s 17000+ patents are not filed just within this decade. Many of them are old day patents which are of no value today. To put that in a perspective, take a look at the table below,

Year Motorola’s Rank in Top 10 List
1997 4
1998 4
1999 8
2000 9
2001-2011 -

So Motorola was a leader in Patents and IP in the period of 1990’s. Leaving the old patents aside, what about the recent patents from Motorola and how it compares to Microsoft’s recent patent portfolio ? IEEE every year releases a Patent power scorecard, which tells the value of patents by each organization calculated not just by the volume but many other factors such as self citations, originality, etc.

Rank Company 2009 US Patents Pipeline Growth Index Pipeline Impact Self Citations Adjusted Pipeline Impact Pipeline Generality Pipeline Originality Pipeline Power Adjusted Pipeline Power
1 Microsoft 2918 1.43 1.29 36.7% 1.20 1.32 1.12 7953 7422
2 Oracle 338 1.09 1.32 22.8% 1.32 1.38 1.49 994 994
3 Sun 580 1.07 1.02 8.3% 1.02 1.13 1.75 1075 1075
3 Motorola 508 .92 1.23 5.3% 1.23 1.18 0.88 598 598
6 Nortel 245 .90 1.12 4.2% 1.12 1.17 1.36 397 397
11 Interdigital 187 1.34 .68 34.7% .65 .97 .25 42 40
14 Apple 294 1.58 1.25 32% 1.23 1.26 .42 308 302

Rank column indicated ranks of companies in their respective industries such as Networks, Software, etc. You can find the full document from IEEE here.

Bloomberg Businessweek conducted a research on IP owned by MNC’s, Here is the result,

image

I think you may now realize how patent numbers doesn’t matter much. Its all about the values those patents provides. Google is not even listed in any of the above lists. Google with Motorola’s patents may try to convince Apple, but not Microsoft or Oracle (including Sun). What do you think?

Was the Story Interesting?

About Author

is a Computer Science and Engineering Graduate. He was also a Microsoft Student Partner. He is currently working in a leading IT company. Follow him at twitter.com/pradeepviswav and Facebook