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IP, Patent

Identifying Patent Value?

ICAP Ocean Tomo periodically holds patent auctions, providing owners with a marketplace of potential buyers.  The next auction is coming up next week on November 11 in Napa Valley.  Of course, with nearly 150 lots available for purchase (full list here), and many including multiple patents, finding the most “valuable” can be a challenge.  (Some speculate it can costs millions of dollars per year to analyze patents available on the open market in general).

Of course, every potential buyer may have slightly different goals or objectives when purchasing a patent, but regardless of what those goals are, analytical tools  can provide useful insight when used correctly.  I provided an example of how those tools can help make sense out of a large number of (mostly) unrelated patents in a recent article.

Business Week also recently covered some of the available lots last week, and referred to a few “high-value” lots.  From BW:

According to the catalog, one of the most valuable lots offered contains four U.S. and five European patents for a method of multimedia data processing. The expected value of the lot is $8.5 million and the catalog also offers them for a buy- it-now price of $10 million.

A second potentially high-value lot is offered by the U.K.’s CVON Innovations Ltd. It’s comprised of more than 300 patents and patent applications related to mobile advertising. According to the catalog, its expected value is $7.5 million and it’s offered for immediate sale for $15 million.

“Value” in this case appears to be confused with “pricey” as each of the sellers is seeking several million dollars for their portfolios.  True value might be more easily found from high quality patents at lower price tags. From my article:

Approximately half of all lots are available for purchase at $500,000 or less. Comparing Top Q Scores in each lot currently being offered in this price range, … of the 63 lots available for $500,000 or less, 14 of them contain a Top Q Score patent 90 or higher. As noted above, the Computerized Q Score provides a first-pass indication of a patent’s potential value.

Included in the $500,000 or less category are patents from research institutions and universities, as well as individual inventors.  Read the full article for more information about the “bargain” category, and a few comments about the $15,000,000 CVON Innovations lot mentioned in the BW article.

Additional coverage of the Ocean Tomo auction at Phillip Brooks’ blog.




  1. Pingback: ICAP Ocean Tomo Auction Tomorrow « Gametime IP - November 10, 2010

  2. Pingback: Strength? Or Just Numbers? « Gametime IP - November 12, 2010

  3. Pingback: Disappointing Results At ICAP Ocean Tomo Auction « Gametime IP - November 26, 2010

  4. Pingback: Are ICAP Ocean Tomo’s Patents "Low End"? « Gametime IP - December 7, 2010

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