Gibbs Delivers Automaker Patent Intelligence Report To Obama's Auto Task Force

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APA-Intel Report Compares US and Foreign Automakers' Performance as Task Force Considers Additional Bailout Funding


The APA-Intel Report on patents is the first of its kind that provides an in-depth comparison of the quality of patent portfolios owned by Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors, against their largest Japanese and European counterparts. High quality patents provide huge revenue opportunities, and low quality patents increase operational risk.

Today, President Obama's Task Force on Autos received the Automaker Patent Assets Intelligence Report (2009 APA-Intel Report) comparing the patent portfolio assets of General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota and Volkswagen.

As financial markets based on traditional assets continue to collapse, patents are emerging as the single most important asset class upon which sustainable economic recovery will depend. Most taxpayers agree that a trillion dollars in bailout money is staggering, but the Harvard Business Review reported that U.S. companies currently waste $1 trillion in patent assets every year.

The APA-Intel Report presents findings that show how the US automakers have managed innovation, and their patent assets over the past decade. The new information comes just in time for Task Force consideration as automakers prepare to present their recovery plans at the end of the month.

Download the full report at:

Andy Gibbs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PatentCafe said: "The APA-Intel Report on patents is the first of its kind that provides an in-depth comparison of the quality of patent portfolios owned by Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors, against their largest Japanese and European counterparts. High quality patents provide huge revenue opportunities, and low quality patents increase operational risk."

As the Task Force on Auto considers additional bailout funding, evaluating patent-based management performance and patent portfolio assets seem so complicated, that patents rarely rise to discussion level importance. The APA-Intel Report reduces the complex world of more than 20,000 automakers' patents into understandable metrics that show how well the car companies' patent assets stack up in legal, commercial and technological quality.

Gibbs continues: "With an estimated 80% of the market cap of the S&P 500 attributable to intangible assets, it's now critical for the Task Force, as well as stakeholders, to question how well GM and Ford are managing their patent assets. This report provides those measurements."

The APA-Intel Report shows that Toyota ranked #1 in Green Tech, and began its patent march as far back as the mid 1990s. Today, nearly 30% of Toyota's large patent portfolio is "Green", while only 15% of General Motors' portfolio is Green Tech.

Monitoring patent activity can signal a competitor's R&D and marketing strategy well in advance - perhaps up to a decade before the competitors actually launch their products.

US automakers ranked 1-2-3 in technology quality, but have they lost their technological edge in the global automotive marketplace?

The Obama Administration has already warned that General Motors should be prepared to seek bankruptcy protection.

  •     If GM declares bankruptcy, will the company become the automotive version of "Ma Bell / Baby Bells"?
  •     If GM Trucks, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick become independent operating companies, how will General Motors' patents be distributed to the new "Colonel Motors" companies?
  •     Will the Colonel Motors companies be responsible for building their own patent portfolios after a breakup?
  •     Should US automakers search for every possible patent infringement opportunity as a survival measure to recapture market share from foreign competitors?

These are just a few of the hard questions the automakers and legislators face, and the immediate answers lie, in part, in the patent data presented in the APA-Intel Report.

The report shows that GM, Ford and Chrysler may be sitting on patent assets that could be directly exploited for immediate revenue and market share increase, perhaps well in excess of $100 million. The Report also hints that US automakers may be sitting on many sub-quality and non-core patents that could be divested to immediately cut costs.

Gibbs noted, "PatentCafe's software tools apply the same type of artificial intelligence to huge patent databases as the intelligence community applies to large communication databases. The advanced search technology and proven methods of statistical patent quality measurements allow business managers, government agencies and technology investors to extract an immense amount of mission-critical, but previously unavailable information from patents."

Beyond the auto industry, the veracity of statistical patent asset measurement applies equally to every other industry core to our economy: computers, semiconductors, biotech, pharmaceuticals, software, medical devices, and oil and gas, to name a few.

Patents are the single most important asset class upon which economic recovery and sustainable prosperity depend. But if patents can't be measured, they can't be managed. Fortunately, the APA-Intel Report illustrates the value of measuring patent assets.

ABOUT PATENTCAFE (, Inc. is a global leader in artificial intelligence based patent portfolio management software solutions used for international patent data search and statistical patent quality analytics.

The company's enterprise-level solutions incorporate the intellectual property industry's most advanced linguistics search technology that helps customers maximize patent quality and licensing revenue optimization, achieve superior patent-based business intelligence, and more efficiently meet corporate governance compliance.

Its software solutions are used by the Fortune 500 legal departments, patent portfolio executives, multi-national patent firms, Big 4 consulting firms, technology investors, and risk analysts.

Andy Gibbs, PatentCafe's Chairman, CEO, and founder has been recognized as one of the world's leading intellectual property strategists. He served two terms on the United States Patent and Trademark Office Public Patent Advisory Committee (PPAC), appointed under both the Clinton and G.W. Bush administrations, and served as Chairman of the E-government subcommittee advising the US Patent Office on matters related to information technology and office automation.

To request a DIGITAL COPY of the APA-Intel Report, to arrange an interview with PatentCafe Executives, or to receive a PatentCafe Press Kit, please contact:
Lena Lowe
Desk Editor
e-mail: editor (at) ipfrontline (dot) com

IPFrontline Intellectual Property News Magazine

2890 Gateway Oaks Dr
Sacramento, CA 95833
Office: +1 916-239-2500 x2321
Fax: +1 916-239-2510


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