Posts Tagged: "Yahoo patents"

Will Yahoo Feed the Patent Trolls?

Yahoo’s proposed auction of the Excalibur portfolio is likely to be the largest sale of computer-related patents since the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l ruling in June of 2014. Alice may reduce the number of overly-broad patents in existence in the long run, but (ironically) in the short term the decision may have skewed patent value calculations in a way that encourages the kinds of behaviors it was supposed to negate. A sale of the Excalibur patents will provide an important test of Alice’s effects in the short term.

Billion-dollar-plus valuation of Yahoo’s Excalibur patent portfolio could be optimistic in current market

It’s this environment of malaise within which Yahoo is trying to bolster its fortunes with the sale of an intellectual property portfolio involving about 3,000 patents and patent applications which the company recently reassigned to a subsidiary known as Excalibur IP. Some of the patents in this portfolio date back to the company’s initial public offering in 1996 and news reports from The Wall Street Journal indicate that some expect the portfolio to fetch a price in excess of $1 billion… “If this sale had happened before Alice, the valuations would be multiples higher,” said Michael Gulliford of Soryn IP Group. Another factor mentioned by Kent Richardson (ROL Group) was the fact that the so-called smartphone patent wars have largely ended so the patents in related sectors are not as important from a defensive standpoint.

The Yahoo Patent Portfolio: What is the market price today?

Business Insider reports that Yahoo’s patent portfolio could generate up to $3B. We disagree and we use data to show why. With an estimated street price of $772M (high of $1.15B, a low of $393M), Yahoo has a valuable asset, just not a $3B asset. We often see patent prices stated without any data to back up the analysis. We think this needs to change. Below, we show how a quick analysis of Yahoo’s portfolio and the patent market leads to some bounds on the street price of the patents.

Core Yahoo! patent focus on search engines, social networks and fantasy sports

Between July 2011 and July 2014, Yahoo! had expenditures of 17.8 as a percent of sales on R&D while experiencing a stock growth of 85 percent over the same time period. Areas of research focus at Yahoo! Labs include computational advertising, machine learning and web mining innovations. Our research using the Innography patent analytics search tools shows a total of 303 U.S. patent grants during 2014; the text cluster diagram (shown right) gives us a quick glimpse into those patents, not surprisingly showing that much of Yahoo!’s patent activity was focused on search engine services, especially in selected searches and search result pages. User devices, user interfaces and social networking also represented an important focus for Yahoo! in 2014.

Yahoo! Focuses on Social Platform for Achieving Personal Goals

We were very intrigued to see a large number of patent applications related to goal achievement technologies, and we closely examined three of these which we felt were worth sharing. Methods for creating an impetus to achieve a goal, whether for money or for social benefit, would be protected by U.S. Patent Application No. 20140272849, entitled System and Method Providing Positive Social and Economic Motivators for Goal Achievement. The filing discloses a method of defining a list of goals through a computing device, each goal comprised of a progression plan with a set of milestones, and assigning goals to a group of users. For progressing towards goals and hitting milestones, users may be rewarded with a monetary award from an advertiser, or may win a social bet with terms set among friends.

Yahoo Seeks Patent on Method of Recommending Advertising Services

We start today’s check into Yahoo!’s innovations with an in-depth look at one patent application describing an online marketplace for advertising services which can be bought for business purposes. This marketplace enables advertising services to bid for rates and can analyze consumer interactions with a business website to suggest effecting online marketing tools. Other patent applications describe various other software tools for business purposes, including one system for providing advertisements which are optimized for mobile device screens. Yahoo!’s recently patented technologies cover a wide variety of novel Internet technologies. One patent we discuss establishes a new method of ranking search engine results based on how interesting some content may be for a user. A sidebar for community updates within online networks comprising many members, and a method for recommending e-mails for others to read, are also discussed below.

Yahoo Seeks Patent on Capturing Metadata from User Devices to Provide Better Maps

What we found were plenty of interesting inventions regarding consumer Internet technologies that will interest plenty of our readers, so we’ve gathered some of the best patent applications and issued patents assigned to Yahoo! by the USPTO. We start our tour today with a look at a novel system of providing map information to a mobile device user. Using spatial metadata collected from a plurality of smart and “dumb” devices, users can access this system to pull contextual map information about individual buildings. We also discuss a couple of patent applications directed towards systems of collecting contact information for a user’s profile as well as a couple of systems for mood analysis. Communication technologies are protected in a number of Yahoo! patents that we decided to look at today. These include a messaging service that incorporates online gaming activity as well as a system of better prioritizing and organizing received digital messages. We were also impressed by a couple of issued patents that protect better image recognition and news authority ranking systems.

Yahoo Seeks Patent on Sending Geographically Appropriate Event Recommendations to a Mobile Device

We’re going in-depth to explore a patent application that would notify mobile device users of nearby events. These events would be collected from social media applications and filtered based on a user’s interest and proximity to the user, helping that person find interesting events that they were unaware of. Also, a couple of patent applications describe improvements to social networks available through Yahoo!, both on an individual and a group basis. The patent holdings of Yahoo! encompass a wide array of web services, especially those that are related to the website’s search engine. One recently issued patent protects a system of removing spam websites from search engine results, while another discusses a method of improving the accuracy of color-based searches. Collaboration on eBook documents and better notification systems for fantasy sports players are also on focus in a few other issued patents we’re exploring here.