Tech patent arms race escalates


Paul Sutton

Recent events in the world of high technology titans demonstrate that a patent arms race is reaching fever pitch, with companies amassing patent portfolios for offensive and defensive purposes.

And the prices being paid for patents and intellectual property technology have reached staggering figures. Patents are increasingly viewed as strategic financial weapons and resources, not merely legal assets.

Tech companies, with war chests overflowing with cash, have turned their backs on traditional acquisition formulas which focus upon rules such as multiples of sales and profitability. Here is an examination of recent acquisitions and developments which follow Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings and its huge, 17,000-strong, patent portfolio in 2011.


Tech patents, financial strategy