Tech patents have become a huge commodity in America.Why buy a patent? Well, you’ll be able to sue anybody who infringes it.
You could also licence it, and use the technology it covers all you want.
With these lucrative possibilities in mind, tech companies typically buy patents in big bundles.
And these patent bundles can go for jaw-drawing amounts.
Patent brokerage firm IPOfferings has now provided a glimpse into exactly how much a company will buy for the right to somebody else’s invention.
In January, Adaptix sold Acacia Research 230 patents covering 4G technology, according to IPOfferings.
The deal was Acacia's first major move to buy its own patent rights, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time. Previously, Acacia partnered with universities and other organisations to help them enforce patents.
Acacia has been criticised as a 'patent troll,' or a company that makes most of its money from licensing patents or filing patent lawsuits.
However, Acacia CEO Paul Ryan previously told BI that people who use that term are just 'name calling.'
Fujifilm sold 1,200 patents covering OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology to Universal Display Corp. in July, according to IPOfferings.
OLEDs are used to make increasingly popular high-contrast, low-energy screens, Science Daily has reported.
In January, Real Network sold 190 patents to Intel covering technology for media players, according to IPOfferings.
The deal also included 170 patent applications (patents that haven't been approved) and some video streaming software, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.
The patent acquisition built Intel's portfolio for technology that allows streaming on smartphones and laptops, according to the Journal.
In April, Microsoft sold 650 patents to Facebook, according to IPOfferings.
The deal represented a move to align against Google, Nick Wingfield reported for the Times at the time.
As part of the deal, Facebook scored a bunch of patents related to mobile, Web, and instant messaging technology, according to Wingfield.
In April, AOL sold Microsoft 925 patents covering Internet technology.
Here's how the New York Times explained the signficance of the massive deal:
'The lofty price ... reflects the crucial role that patents are increasingly playing in the business and legal strategies of the world's major technology companies, including Microsoft, Apple, Google, Samsung, and HTC.'
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