Thursday, June 30, 2011

"A Million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A Billion dollars!"

What does this quote from the movie "The Social Network" have to do with patent law?

You don't often hear "cool" being used in connection with patents and patent litigation, but lately we have been hearing Billion bantered about with incredible frequency.  Some notable examples include:
  • Projections of the potential settlement value to Kodak of the current ITC action against Apple and Rim, which the Commission is set to act on this week.
  • The ultimate price of the Nortel patent portfolio, which has a $900 Million "stalking horse" bid from Google, and significant interest from several cash-rich companies that could easily drive the final price well over a Billion dollars.
  • The damages calculation of $2.6 Billion offered by Oracle's expert, now being disputed, in a case against Google involving the Android operating system. 
If there was any doubt about the continued value and vitality of patents as a tool for promoting innovation and advancing competitive business interests, these examples from this week's news should put that doubt to rest.  Maybe, just maybe, I can convince my kids that patents really are "cool."

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