Eastman Kodak makes hundreds of millions of dollars every year from its patent licenses. Its lucrative portfolio has more than 1,000 patents and in 2010 “it made an estimated $630 million from its licenses, according to Argus Research.” The quote comes from the NY Times, April 29, 2011 at B4, which adds that Kodak expects to generate $250 million to $300 million in revenue each year through 2013 from its licensing agreements (See my post of Dec. 31, 2007: intellectual property licensing with 12 references.)
In part, I was surprised that someone outside a company was able to estimate its patent licensing revenue. How the terms of license deals could be known and aggregated is beyond me (See my post of April 27, 2008: American Express’s patent licensing program; Feb. 24, 2009: primacy of intangibles for lawyers per billion; March 27, 2009: more on patent investors; April 9, 2009: AT&T sale of fallow patents; Sept. 21, 2009: patent trolls and licenses; Nov. 8, 2009: most patents make no money; July 15, 2010: Motorola’s licensing structure; Oct. 18, 2010: create separate corporate licensing team: and Dec. 16, 2010; pruned patents may create licensing work in-house.).
Second, wouldn’t it be good as a benchmark of comparative performance for law departments to know patent license revenue obtained per patent record or per billion dollars of revenue? My slide rule salivates!