Research in Motion - Shares are Declining but Patent Count is Growing

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By Jennifer Butler, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services with research assistance by Larry Cady

Shares of Canadian based Research in Motion plunged on Friday June 29 after reporting a large quarterly loss and announcing a large layoff.  See “RIM’s Plunge Adds Pressure to ‘Sell, Break Up or Die’.”

But IFI Claims’ Patent Intelligence and Technology Report (PITR) System shows that they are still building up their large patent portfolio.  According to PITR, RIM ranked #40 in the number of US utility patents granted in 2011.  As of June 26, PITR shows them with 414 utility grants year to date, putting them at #34 so far in 2012.  They also have 742 US applications published year to date ranking them #18 in that category.  They are on pace to beat their 2011 counts and improve their rankings in both categories.  The figure below compares RIM’s cumulative patent count with their share price.  

Research in Motion (RIMM) patent count and share price through June 2012

Research in Motion (RIMM) patent count and share price through June 2012
Source of share price data: Yahoo Finance.
Source of Patent Counts: IFI CLAIMS PITR.

IFI CLAIM’s PITR maintains highly accurate counts of company patent activity.  PITR produces better trend and tracking results than you can get from the USPTO’s web site.  Here are two examples.  
If you search the USPTO’s web site for 2011 Research in Motion utility grants, you will find 660 records.  PITR shows 663 records – why is that?  

PITR applies proprietary assignee name standardization.  Consider US 7,874,470.  On the USPTO site, this patent is assigned to “Rearch In Motion Limited (Waterloo, Ontario, CA)”.  Misspellings like this are common, as anyone who routinely searches for patents knows.  This patent will not show up by searching for “Research in Motion”.  

In PITR, this patent does appear in the “Research in Motion” count thanks to the name standardization that IFI CLAIMS applies to the data.  
In addition, PITR considers reassignments.  For example, application US-20120001748 does not appear on the USPTO site if you search applications for Assignee Name “Research in Motion”.  However, it does appear in PITR.  You can verify that PITR is correct by looking at the INPADOC Legal Status record on Espacenet.  

PITR tracks activity and trends for the top 5,000 patenting companies.  If you want highly accurate counts in an extremely accessible format, then PITR is well worth the modest cost.  

For more information see our PITR Product Page, or contact me at