New TurboPatent® Report Shows 44 Percent of Excalibur Portfolio Patents May Be Invalid, Unenforceable, or Have No Market Value; Google, Microsoft, IBM Among Those Most Frequently Citing Yahoo! IP
Today, TurboPatent released a Yahoo! TurboPatent Portfolio Report. The 150 page analysis of more than 2,600 technical patents in the Yahoo! Excalibur patent portfolio shows that a higher than average portion may be invalid, unenforceable or have little market value. According to the report and 50,000 pages of supporting data, 44 percent of the patents in the Excalibur portfolio have high severity issues. Such issues could prevent the patents from being enforced or defended.
"Approximately 30 percent of the average patent portfolio of large corporations is worthless -- these patents are either invalid, outdated, severely flawed or unrelated to the corporation's business, and they add nothing to the market value of either the portfolio or the corporation," commented Larry M. Goldstein, a noted U.S. patent attorney and author of "True Patent Value: Defining Quality in Patents and Patent Portfolios" and "Litigation Proof Patents: Avoiding the Most Common Patent Mistakes." TurboPatent's analysis found Yahoo!'s Excalibur patent portfolio contains a much higher percentage of potentially worthless patents than the average patent portfolio.
The report also identifies the companies that have cited Yahoo!'s patents most frequently. The top three in order of most to least are 1) Google (2915), 2) Microsoft (1741) and 3) IBM (1576). More citations can indicate a higher relevance and value of the portfolio to certain companies (and their competitors).
This analysis was generated by the TurboPatent Machine™ -- an automated, intelligent system for assessing patent quality -- augmented by human patent expert review. TurboPatent assessed each of the technical patents in the Exacalibur portfolio. The report deems a patent risky if it includes high severity issues in these categories:
- Low technical quality -- Valid patents are required be written in a certain way, properly cite prior inventions, ideas and technologies (art), and follow a specific format. Those that don't can be invalidated.
- High Alice score -- The U.S. Supreme Court's 2014 Alice decision effectively removed patent protection for abstract ideas that describe common business practices. This invalidated many existing patents. A high Alice score for a patent means it is likely to be invalid in light of the Supreme Court's ruling.
- Zero citations -- Valuable patents are often frequently cited by other companies. Patents that have never been cited in the technical filings of other companies may lack technological significance (and therefore have little market value). This is particularly problematic for patents that are three or more years old.
- Title/Assignment issues -- Patents are granted to inventors and can subsequently be transferred to new owners. Patents that show gaps in ownership or fail to properly credit inventors can be hard to enforce.
The report shows that of the assets in the Excalibur portfolio, 960 have one high-severity issue, while 186 have two, and 10 have three. Specifically, TurboPatent breaks down the risky patents:
- 375 assets have high severity technical quality issues (14 percent of the portfolio)
- 181 assets have a high Alice score (6.8 percent)
- 705 assets were published three or more years ago with zero citations (27 percent)
- 111 assets have title/assignment high severity issues (4.2 percent)
"It would take a team of 20 patent professionals months to produce something as extensive and comprehensive as our Patent Portfolio Report, and even then the accuracy and consistency of the analysis would be questionable," said James Billmaier, TurboPatent's co-founder and CEO. "We have crossed the point where machines are now far superior to humans at these tasks. The TurboPatent Machine used natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and big data to produce an in-depth analysis of the Excalibur portfolio in a matter of days. This kind of data is critical to potential buyers of Yahoo!'s patents."
An 18-page executive summary of the Yahoo! Patent Portfolio Report can be downloaded at http://www.turbopatent.us/s/TurboPatent-Portfolio-Summary_Yahoo_Excalibur.pdf. The full report, including detailed data about each of the technical patents and patent applications in the Excalibur portfolio, can be purchased from TurboPatent. Contact us here.