Insights and Analysis from the Law Firm Evolved
Posts from Bruce Abramson
Patents are back in the news. In the past few weeks alone, Microsoft bought AOL’s patent portfolio for $1 billion, then resold much of it to Facebook for $550 million. Twitter pledged to use its patents only defensively, and to give its employee-inventors a say in the company’s future patent litigation strategy. Controversial trials, appeals, rulings, and awards continue—prompting the Wall Street Journal to publish Andy Kessler’s call for curtailing the rights of non-practicing entities (NPEs), also known affectionately as “trolls.”
Last week, Google announced its plans to acquire Motorola Mobility, effecting a vertical integration from the Android operating system into hardware. Investors responded by shaving roughly 13% off Google’s value—roughly twice as much as the NASDAQ lost and three times as much as the Dow.
Google is one of the worlds most intriguing companies. From its humble beginnings as a search engine company, Google has leveraged its mastery of the elusive formula for monetizing web traffic into a force capable of tangling with China—making it considerably stronger than our own State Department by some measures. Its recent announcement that it plans to acquire Motorola Mobile makes it heir to a grand tradition of American manufacturing—not to mention possessor of a valuable trove of intellectual property, and a sudden direct competitor to stylish hardware king, Apple.
Gold has a long history of being many things to many people. To some, it is a shiny bauble, to others a commodity, and to still others a currency. To financial economists, gold is the traditional hedge against inflation. This month, however, it appears to have assumed a new role: The gold market is now the mirror image of the broad equity markets. And while the tight inverse correlation in day-to-day trading is unlikely to persist for long, this general relationship may be around for quite some time. Why? Because headlines notwithstanding, the rapid rise in gold prices is not a short-term speculative bubble, but rather a necessary consequence of our previous bubbles and an appropriate response to the shakiness of sovereign debt.