GPC's Alexander Poltorak comments on the true value of the 800 patents Microsoft purchased from AOL in a recent article that examines the true impact of the deal on both the buyer and the seller. ("What is AOL’s Patent Portfolio Really Worth to Microsoft?" Wall Street Cheat Sheet - April 12, 2012)
Article excerpt: Patents give Microsoft the license to sue, to cripple its competitors by forcing them to take items off the shelves, or to strike deals that give the company a cut of profits it had no hand in making. According to Alexander Poltorak, chairman and chief executive of General Patent Corp., “only [between] 3 and 4% of patent lawsuits end up in trial,” with most ending with a settlement beneficial to both parties.
Poltorak adds that if AOL was willing to sell at $1.06 billion, the patents must be worth 10 times as much in the hands of someone who plans to enforce them. “On the open market, patents are sold for 10% of their enforcement value” as a general rule, said Poltorak.