On August 16th last year, United States Patent No. 8,000,000 was issued by the USPTO. And with over 400,000 new applications filed every year from 2006 through 2010, it is likely that patent number 9,000,000 will come even faster than the five years between Nos. 7,000,000 and 8,000,000.
Someone must think patents are worth something, in spite of the fact that only about 0.35 % of available patents are litigated in any given year (see my calculation at the bottom) and only about 58% of those are successfully litigated. Of course there are some well published success stories, e.g., the Cohen-Boyer patents on recombinant DNA that brought in over $250 million in licensing revenue to Stanford University, or Robert Kearns, who successfully enforced his patents on intermittent windshield wipers against Ford and Chrysler, earning around $30 million (and inspiring a movie about his life). But given the number of patents out there, such stories are certainly not the norm. So what drives all those patent filings?
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Business Organization Updates, Intellectual Property Updates
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