X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Several months ago the editors of IP Worldwide asked the simple question: “Who owns the most valuable patents?” The answer, it turned out, was maddeningly complex. How do you measure value? By how much revenue the patent brings in? Or by how much it boosts a company’s market value? How do you value a patent’s exclusivity — the ability to keep competitors out of key markets? It depends, of course, on the company, market, and patent.Undaunted by these different questions blowing in the wind, IP Worldwide proceeded with the exercise, recognizing that it would be compiling a subjective list — but, also an engaging and provocative one, too. For example, the cholesterol-fighting drug Lipitor (annual sales: $4.5 billion) drove the January $90 billion merger between Warner-Lambert Company and Pfizer Inc. Even American Home Products Corp., the jilted bride in the deal, was sent packing with a $1.8 billion breakup fee.Meanwhile, Qualcomm Inc. collects royalties any time consumers buy the most popular types of digital cell phones. But to climb into that lucrative toll booth, the company has had to wage court battles with nearly every major telecommunications equipment player. Last year, Qualcomm reaped more than $700 million (a quarter of its $2.8 billion in annual revenue) from licensing and royalty fees alone. Even after the crash of the Nasdaq, Qualcomm’s market value still hovers near $50 billion. To find these plums, IP Worldwide examined inventions in various industries, such as computers and technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and manufacturing. Editors combed court dockets, damage awards, and Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Industry and legal experts were also consulted. For brevity’s sake, the scope of this survey is limited to active patents. The editors ultimately decided to exclude expired patents, such as the seminal Cohen-Boyer gene-splicing patent or the patent behind Polaroid Corporation’s nearly $1 billion verdict against Eastman Kodak Company. And the magazine will save for another day those patents that have changed the world, regardless of their contributions to corporate coffers. This package would not be complete without listing the lawyers who prosecuted and defended these patent plums. Las Vegas, Nev. lawyer Gerald Hosier, for one, has made untold millions handling licensing deals for the controversial inventor Jerome Lemelson. Lemelson may be dead, but his patents live on — and so do the royalty streams. It’s plum work, if you can get it.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.