No polling data this week in Fortune Analytics. Instead, we’re using patent data as a proxy for companies on a high growth trajectory.
To help us, we reached out to Nasdaq to see their Patent Value Estimates (PVE) data. They have a proprietary algorithm that calculates the value of individual patents*. A growing patent portfolio doesn’t guarantee growth. But Nasdaq research does find it correlates with greater stock growth.
Here’s what Fortune Analytics found in the data.
The numbers to know
- … gain in the combined patent portfolio of FAAMG companies (aka Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Google) between 2015 and 2021.
- … the total value of Samsung’s patent portfolio—the largest of any measured company in the world. It’s up 74% since 2015.
A few deeper takeaways
1. Big Tech is still, well, getting bigger.
The combined patent portfolios of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Google is now $67.2 billion—up from $29.9 billion in 2015.
On one hand that figure is very small compared to their market capitalizations. On the other hand, it shows they’re still focused on R&D. That sustained innovation coupled with their ability to buy up newcomers (hey, there are perks to major cash flow) makes a pretty good case for staying bullish on Big Tech.
2. Don’t underestimate Nvidia.
Back in 2016, Nvidia’s Jensen Huang co-founder was blunt about how competitive his industry is: “I always think we’re 30 days from going out of business…That’s never changed. It’s not a fear of failure. It’s really a fear of feeling complacent, and I don’t ever want that to settle in.”
And boy, is the chip maker serious about R&D: Between 2010 and 2021, Nvidia’s total patent value climbed 630%, Nasdaq calculates.
It’s also paying off. The chipmaker is now a global leader in AI. Since Jan. 2020, its share price is up a staggering 275% as demand during the pandemic for gaming and chips soared.
3. Samsung and Qualcomm to the moon?
I’ll be honest, when I reached out to Nasdaq for patent data I assumed that the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft would have the largest patent portfolios. I was dead wrong.
The top 2 in Nasdaq’s database are Samsung ($50.5 billion) and Qualcomm ($37.9 billion).
What’s going on? One word: 5G. Both of these firms are early leaders in the technology that is poised to explode in the coming years.
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*Methodology: Nasdaq’s PVE data is calculated on an indicator based Market Analogy method. Nasdaq says “it calculates the value of a patent as if it would be a traded good. The indicator based method for value determination is based on machine learning algorithms which are trained with a dataset of traded patents in the past where the paid prices are known.”
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