In support of this he notes that in December of 2010, Novell sold off its portfolio of 882 patents for $US450m. "A simple division calculation leads us to a value of $510,204.08 per patent'¦ let's say the entire value of the [Motorola Mobility] acquisition was in their 24,500 patents and applications. At a $US12.5 billion price tag, that equates to'¦$US510,204.08 per patent."
He concludes: "In the Motorola acquisition, Google bought a patent portfolio and got a mobile phone business thrown in for free."
At least the figure bears some relation to the value of the asset in question. Google has a track record of bidding numbers that bear more relevance to, often obscure, fundamental constants that to financial realities. As Engadget reported recently that in the bidding for Nortel's patent portfolio - which eventually went to a consortium of Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, Research In Motion and Sony for $US4.5b "Reportedly, [Google] bid $1,902,160,540 and $2,614,972,128, better known by mathematicians as Brun's constant and Meissel-Mertens constant, respectively. Funnier still, Google decided to offer $3.14159 billion (you know, pi) when the bidding reached $3 billion."
Google had initially offered $US900m for the portfolio of 6,000 patents, a mere $15,000 per patent. The $US4.5 billion paid equates to $75,000 per patent - still much cheaper than what Google is paying for Motorola's patents - if you discount the value of the business.