alibaba group is strengthening the patent status in the American market, hoping to avoid companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter in the IPO (initial public offering) the difficulties encountered before.
Envision IP data according to market research company, alibaba has so far has bought 102 U.S. patents, including 20 patents from IBM bought last year. The United States patent and trademark office database show that alibaba also applied for more than 300 other technology patents in the United States, including the payment process, product recommendations, image search, etc.
“it is the right thing to do,” general manager Envision IP MaoLin Shah (Maulin Shah) said, “when the company announced plans to IPO, will immediately become the target of competition, the opponent or want to hinder the IPO process, either regards this as a perfect time for the company.”
the purpose is to prevent the company’s patent product copied by others, and now, the intellectual property rights has become a currency assets, and can be used in litigation against competitors. Once before Facebook IPO only 12 patents, Twitter and only nine, cause they faced many intellectual property litigation.
“for all disputes or potential disputes with alibaba, now can get important bargaining chip.” Jim altmann (Jim Altman) said, “they don’t want anything hinder the IPO.”
alibaba said last month that the company will be in the process of going public, the financing scale is likely to exceed Facebook’s $2012 in 16 billion. Although alibaba did not disclose the specific size, but people familiar with the matter said that the company may be to sell a 12% stake.
recently, according to court documents yahoo shares held 24% of alibaba, and more than 1500 patents.
alibaba in San Francisco, a spokesman for Ashley zandi (Ashley Zandy) declined to comment.
7 other Chinese Internet companies have submitted $2.8 billion IPO plans this year, but no company in the United States has a patent portfolio. April 17 listed weibo said in a regulatory filing, the company has, a Chinese patent filed another 26 application.
“these Chinese companies are starting to have consciousness of intellectual property rights in the west.” Altman said, “alibaba carrying a large number of goods to the United States, they want to do business in the United States.”
at the university of bordeaux, according to a study in 2012 patents help software company’s IPO. Before the IPO for 1 more patents, raised will grow by about 0.9%.
at the same time, the Supreme Court of the United States is considering to alibaba e-commerce patent held by a type. In march, the court held a hearing on the software patent protection criteria, yesterday it should be the vague patent held a hearing what restrictions.
eliminate potential litigation is crucial. Twitter warned investors in October last year, due to the lack of large patent portfolio, the company may cause the target to the lawsuit. In November last year before the IPO, the social media company to disclose it has become a target for IBM’s tort. Twitter in the IPO success financing of $1.82 billion, with IBM settlement in January, after buying its 900 patents.
Facebook has experienced a similar struggle, finally bought IBM’s 750 patents, and in July 2012 the settlement of the dispute – from its IPO was already in the past two months.
Google IPO in 2004 and has a few months before pay the fee to the yahoo, solved the patent dispute, in 2011 after bought more than 1000 patents from IBM, to prevent its Android operating system by tort litigation.
IBM declined to reveal with alibaba’s patent transaction details. As the world’s largest computer services provider, IBM has 21 years in a row as America’s most patented company. The company intellectual property general manager Ken gold (Ken King) in January, said they often patent sales and licensing agreements with other enterprises.
Deloitte consultant companies in the United States Financial Advisory Services, chief analyst at tang van cher (Don Fancher) said that in addition to litigation risk, patent can also help the existing business, reduce the risk of competition, and create new profit source.
new revenue sources
“from the perspective of business outlook and looking for their own strategic direction and hope to create a new source of income, and use the patent technology to promote the process.” Fan, said, “this is a competitive field, but also contains a huge opportunity. Everything in the electronic commerce development.”
according to the United States patent and trademark office, the creator of mainland China in 2013, a total of 6597 U.S. patents, in addition to the United States, the world’s sixth. In 2003 the figure was only 424.
shah said that in the Asian market, alibaba has more than 1900 patents and patent applications. In the United States, the company filed an application for a patent for 50, 2011, 2012 to 85, 2013 in 104.
“they are active in the local market.” He said, “after the IPO, increase in the number of patent naturally, they are here.” (book Yu)