Arguments about the value of patents have heated up over the past few years. Software patents in particular have come under increasing scrutiny from thought leaders in the start-up ecosystem, yet later-stage companies like Facebook continue to pay huge sums to acquire patent portfolios.
Just how much attention are start-ups paying to patents? Rather than speculate, we decided to go straight to the data. We pulled information from CrunchBase and the USPTO to build a patent activity database of over 12,000 funded technology companies. Then we plugged it into RJMetrics, a tool that makes data more understandable and actionable for online businesses. Here’s what we found: