Is Patent Boom Bust?
Has the patent boom burst? Kodak is looking for $2.6 billion for its imaging patents. Offers have ranged from $150 million to $250 million.
Apple, teamed with troll Intellectual Ventures, is said to be one bidder.
Google, teamed with anti-troll RPX, is the other bidder.
RPX, founded by ex-IV people, is a patent aggregator and licensor which defends people against lawsuits brought by trolls. RPX says it will never launch a lawsuit of its own.
Kodak’s patents are up for sale because the company is bankrupt.
At the height of the Great Patent Boom, Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility, following the $4.5 billion sale of Nortel’s patents, and the $9 billion valuation put on the value of Alcatel’-Lucent’s 18,800 patents.
Troll InterDigital indicated that it would sell its patents at which its market cap soared to $3 billion but waning interest has seen a fall in InterDigital’s share price leading to a current market cap of $1.3 billion.
Patent trolls cost American companies $29 billion last year, says BostonUniversity.
Kodak says the winner of the auction of its patents will be announced on the 13th.
But it looks as if the Great Patent Boom has gone the way of Tulip Mania and the South Sea Bubble.