Almost everyone in the tech industry feels that Googleâ€™s acquisition of Motorola was all about Patents and about neither their technology nor their talents. With Motorolaâ€™s patents playing an important role, lets take a look at the real value of Motorolaâ€™s patents. First and foremost, Motorolaâ€™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||Motorolaâ€™s Rank in Top 10 List|
So Motorola was a leader in Patents and IP in the period of 1990â€™s. Leaving the old patents aside, what about the recent patents from Motorola and how it compares to Microsoftâ€™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|
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 MNCâ€™s, Here is the result,
I think you may now realize how patent numbers doesnâ€™t matter much. Its all about the values those patents provides. Google is not even listed in any of the above lists. Google with Motorolaâ€™s patents may try to convince Apple, but not Microsoft or Oracle (including Sun). What do you think?