Apple just won a patent battle of historic proportions against Samsung, but does that have any impact on the value of other patents? In a CFO.com blog post, Alexander Poltorak comments on why Apple's victory has little impact on Kodak's ongoing attempt to get the price it needs for its portfolio of digital imaging patents. ("Patently Crazy" CFO.com - August 28, 2012)
Article excerpt: [H]ow does one explain poor, bankrupt Kodak’s apparent inability to auction off its portfolio of 1,100 patents? Kodak says they’re worth about $2.5 billion. Companies, including deep-pocketed Apple and Google, are forming alliances to bid on them. Prominent patent troll Intellectual Ventures has become involved. But so far the bidding reportedly has barely reached $500 million.
“The auction has been a total failure,” says Alexander Poltorak, founder and CEO of General Patent Corporation, an IP advisory that supplies small and medium-sized inventors with patent enforcement and other IP services.
“The patents would have been sold a long time ago if the valuation had been realistic. They could have been sold for several hundred million, which is what they’re worth.”
And how does Poltorak know what they’re worth? Poltorak, who’s been valuing patents a long time, says the value of an individual patent in a large portfolio typically falls somewhere between $100,000 and $250,000. But the market, he says, has been distorted by recent outliers: the April 2011 Nortel auction in which 6,000 patents went for $4.5 billion; Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility and its 17,000 patents for $12.5 billion (“Google was desperate,” says Poltorak; “They were in the middle of a bar fight with no bullets.”), and the Microsoft purchase of AOL’s patents which, Poltorak says, was all about Microsoft protecting its browser from Google Chrome.