I have a weekly routine to read the patent review. Fun stuff. The companies and keywords I keep track off are the big ones in my world, things like healthcare, radio, positioning, golf and companies like IBM, Nokia, Apple, Microsoft, etc.
All of the keywords means something personal to me, the companies are big players and some are smaller ones that is good at innovation.
At first I just thought it would be good competitive intelligence to keep up to date. Then I discovered patterns in the approved patents. Then I saw new patterns. Like the alignment between how detailed patents are within control of radio networks and how few there are that is actually creating new radio possibilities. How many there are that is close to brand protection and how few that is actually innovative. And on.
The overall trend I see is that more of the big Kahunas go for brand protection and not that much innovation. For example Apple are now getting more and more patents approved that is about details in their products. Like the hinges on the iPad cover. Wow. Not Exciting. No glass staircases anymore.
Nokia that has always been a great provider of innovation in radio, both on the network and handset side, is not exciting at all. Today they came clear on this one: Method and apparatus for generating privacy ratings for applications . For f*ck sake.
This was the company that made us proud to be from the Nordics. Shit.
The big question from my side of the table is How Do You Make Money from these lousy innovations and patents?? My answer so far is: You Don't.
So is this the new way of keeping up appearances? Most likely.
Get a grasp and get going Nokia. Apple. IBM. Microsoft. You other Dinkelspielers.