Next week is the deadline for the first round of bids in the Yahoo auction and right on cue stories about how much the internet pioneer’s patent portfolio might bring in have been peppering the newswires. A New York tabloid recently bellowed that they could be worth up to $4 billion with its story divulging that “at least five bidders have been making calls to try to value the IP”. Reading that your first thought might be let’s hope those bidders have called someone with at least a cursory knowledge of the market who could fill them in on what has been happening to patent values over the last four years. That might lead them to a very different valuation than $4 billion.

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