Q3 Sales Rate Declines
Our Q3 sales analysis shows a slowing in patent purchases. The first half sales were 139% of 2014 sales, suggesting a big year for sales. Q3 shows a slowdown matching Q3 2014. We have seen Q3 slowdowns before, but this slowdown misses the first half 2015 sales boost. In Q3, we saw 24 sales compared with 25 sales for the same period last year. Q4 will tell us whether the first half of 2015 was an anomaly.
At the ROL Group, we track the available and sold patent packages on the brokered patent market. Our proprietary database includes over 2,200 patent packages representing more than 60,000 patent assets and more than $7B in potential patent sales. We analyze the USPTO assignment database each quarter to identify sales of unsold packages from the past few years.
Patent sellers continue to be primarily high technology companies and NPEs. The data does not show a strong corporate sellers preference to not sell to NPEs.
In Q3, sellers had greater success with portfolios having multiple assets. Although a couple larger transactions skewed the average to 33 assets per sold portfolio, there were few smaller packages; 25% of the packages had less than 5 assets. Anecdotally we have had brokers tell us that selling smaller packages is getting too difficult and that they continually seek larger patent packages to broker.
Sellers came from NPEs and corporates. With the split of HP, these may be the last sales we see as a unified company - it will be interesting to see how each new HP business pursues its own patent buying and selling path.
Patent purchases split between corporations, defensive aggregators, and NPEs with Intellectual Ventures picking up the largest number of assets and at the top of the deal count list. Intel, Google and Sony all picked up patents this quarter. Absent from the list is Apple who appears not to be a significant buyer in the brokered patent market.