If you make mobile phones, stuffed animals or kitchen utensils, the world can easily imagine what it is your company does. It’s harder for people to imagine what our business looks like. We’re in the business of ideas and inventions, and it’s not that easy to hold an idea in your hand, though the value of an idea can be tremendously more than a new toy or gadget. The good news is, stats and milestones help. And when our executives give presentations about our business or our business model, it’s clear the numbers – and proof points – are what interest people the most.
Two of our executives, Joe Chernesky (VP and GM, Global Licensing Sales) and Loria Yeadon (EVP, Invention Investment Fund), are speaking at the IP Business Congress 2011 sponsored by IAM magazine in San Francisco today. During their talks, Joe and Loria will be sharing some of these stats as they discuss the IP market and the role of the Chief IP Officer in 2015, in their respective panel presentations. If you’re not attending the conference but interested to see what Joe and Loria discuss, follow us on Twitter @IVinvents.
Here’s a roundup of some of the stats they’ll share today and others that we want to share with you. You’ll see that added together, these numbers tell an interesting story about a company that values ideas and inventions.
IV has pioneered the invention capital market. We’ve been in business since 2000, and have raised more than $5 billion of capital from others who believe in our vision for a market focused around invention.
To date, we’ve signed 30 licensing customers to be our strategic partners, and we have generated more than $2 billion in licensing revenue. Some of the deals have been traditional licensing agreements, while others focus on the many ways we can collaborate and act as a strategic IP partner and consultant. More and more customers are looking to license our future inventions, work with us to strategically buy assets, as well as purchase assets from our portfolio so they can defend against assertions.
We’ve built a portfolio of more than 35,000 IP assets…and more than 3,000 of those patents and patent applications are the result of our own invention efforts, both in-house and with our inventor network.
We’ve spent $1.5 billion to acquire these assets, including upwards of $400 million buying patents from individual inventors (and we’re always looking for more top-notch inventions!). We’ve evaluated an average of 35,000 IP assets each year since 2003, and we purchase only the best that cross our desks. Since 2003, we’ve closed more than 1,600 acquisitions deals.
Our invention investments span more than 50 technology areas including information and computer technology, metamaterials, health technologies, materials lifecycle management, next generation cloud computing, future surgery solutions and new approaches to addressing the worldwide energy crisis. In fact, we were granted 1,293 patents in 2010, making us #13 compared to other companies on a list by the USPTO.
Our lab has nearly 100 engineers, scientists and staff on-site, including 18 people with Ph.D. after their names. In the past three years, we’ve hosted more than 5,000 curious visitors to the lab to see our progress on inventions. Our malaria eradication efforts and mosquito laser continue to draw attention. To support these projects, we’ve personally raised more than 1 million mosquitoes and shot them down with lasers in our quest to better detect and prevent malaria.
All of this work takes global resources and a large network of inventors and experts to make it happen. We have 13 offices in 9 countries around the world with team members focused on inventing, filing patent applications, working with inventors, acquiring inventions, analyzing our assets, creating new licensing programs and products and services for current and potential customers. We spend a significant amount of time educating customers and the market on the value of IP, and of course we are also looking at future business models centered around invention. To date, more than 400 universities, governments and institutions around the world have developed relationships with IV, and more than 3,000 inventors from those organizations have sent us 10,000 invention ideas from around the world.
And, perhaps the most interesting stat of all? According to our facilities department, so far, in 2011, we’ve consumed a total of 2,689 gallons of drip coffee in the United States alone proving it takes a lot of fuel to accomplish all we have set out to do.