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A claim about billions in value overseen by patent attorneys, but questions, always questions

Whirlpool “has more than $4 billion of new ideas in its innovation pipeline,” according to an article in talent mgt., Feb. 2009 at 46. The rest of the article looks mostly at how the company has fused technology and talent management, but my thought was “This is certainly one way to quantify the value of the patent lawyers at Whirlpool.

My next thought was, “How did Whirlpool come up with such a figure?” How can it say what its patents pending and its invention disclosures will eventually commercialize and bring in as revenue? I have written to the author but heard nothing back about Whirlpool’s methodology April 12, 2006: three accounting methods to value a patent portfolio.). However they arrived at the figure, it certainly makes the patent group look like a bargain.