Didier Patry: “With the acquisition of Twitter, Elon Musk added 992 patent families to Tesla’s 758 patent families”

Why did Elon Musk buy Twitter? His official response – the defense of free speech and democracy – is so unconvincing that the issue will not be resolved. Musk’s repeated appeals to these ideals to justify important decisions he’s made since taking office are so confusing that they raise deep questions about his motives.

problem: You made an interesting connection between the acquisition of Twitter and the development of Elon Musk’s portfolio of patent families. How is this combination a potential angle to consider when analyzing Musk’s motivations?

Didier Patrick: With the acquisition of Twitter, Elon Musk adds 992 patent families to Tesla’s 758 patent families (as of November 20, 2022), thus doubling the size of his patent portfolio (758 vs. 1,750). Elon Musk is changing the nature of the technologies that are protected in this portfolio, and currently data processing technologies are highly preferred. The new patent portfolio of this set now includes 794 patent families on technologies related to information processing (45%), 538 patent families on technologies related to electronic technologies (30%), and 174 patent families on technologies related to telecommunication technologies (9.9%). , 120 (6.8%) on transport-related technologies. Therefore, it is a new portfolio of patents that includes more than 80% of assets related to technologies related to information processing, electronics and telecommunications technologies. What technologies will stand out the most tomorrow in automotive, medicine or industry 4.0? Tesla is probably the only transportation company with a patent portfolio that has such a structure. One of the few transport companies with a real defensive strategy that can go hand-to-hand with telecommunications companies that have been in direct conflict with traditional car companies (Huawei vs. Stellantis, Nokia vs. Mercedes-Benz AG) for several years. .

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challenge: Can we say that with this purchase, Elon Musk is preparing to pave the way for tomorrow’s connected transportation?

Didier Patrick: I lived in Silicon Valley for two years. At that time, Google announced the acquisition of Motorola Mobility. A transaction of about $12.5 billion (or $40 per share. The original view was: The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a loyal partner of Android, will allow Google to strengthen the Android ecosystem and intensify competition in mobile computing. Motorola. Mobility Android will remain its licensee, while Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate company. In a blog post, co-founder Larry Page writes that Google acquired Motorola not only for its strength in smartphones and Android devices, but also because that it is “a market leader in home appliances and video solutions”. the company’s patent portfolio, he adds, because it will “allow us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies”. then 2.91 to Chinese computer maker Lenovo for $1 billion. The company will look like it just lost, but they’ll keep the patents. Elon Musk is following that reasoning, he’s building an arsenal with avant-garde vision . The introduction of big data and smart technologies has led to many positive changes for the transport sector. Operational efficiency and flexibility are increased, fuel consumption is reduced and customer experiences are significantly improved. Big data also contributes to improving safety in transportation. Twitter has become the de facto face of the big data revolution when it comes to understanding the global community. Its hundreds of billions of tweets give it “volume,” its hundreds of millions of tweets per day “velocity,” and its “diversity” of text, images, and videos.

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Thus, Elon Musk is the only one with such a configuration, even if there are not several Chinese competitors such as Baidu. In 2023, Baidu announced that it plans to expand the scope of its fully self-driving robot car and build the world’s largest fully self-driving car fleet service area. The Chinese equivalent of Google is rumored to be revolutionizing the transportation sector. Another example of the importance of Big Data and data processing technologies in the transport sector is the collaboration between Renault and Google. The two entities have announced an expanded partnership to design and deliver a software-defined vehicle (SDV) digital architecture and accelerate the group’s digitization. It is clear that they are keen to become a Software House, they feel that there will be a disruptive movement at the level of the transport sector. The synergistic effect of all electronic, telecommunication, data processing and transportation technologies is a unique intangible asset that will shape tomorrow’s transportation.

Except that the patent is a tool and a weapon at the same time. Having such an arsenal puts Musk at the forefront of the roadmap. He has a powerful arsenal of tools, but we don’t know anything about his strategy, nor can we speculate on his intentions, as he is an unpredictable character.

problem: But what is behind the scenes?

Didier Patrick: The dominant capacity of the technology world in the transport sector should be analyzed by considering the advantages and disadvantages of such a relationship. One of the main developments in this direction is autonomous transport, if you get used to it, you become more dependent on the technologies. And in order to truly benefit from these advancements, there must be a proof of concept, and that requires seamless communication. We can imagine that a car will be able to communicate with infrastructures, with other vehicles… This requires instantaneous data transmission, for example, the importance of 5G technology. Deutsche Telekom, BMW Group, Valeo, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies have announced the world’s first demonstration of an autonomous 5G network outage powered automated driving application with network features monitored for quality of service (QoS). Close cross-industry collaboration is essential to co-innovate and develop new solutions that benefit customers. This is a catalyst for future services. Also because the connection between infrastructure and vehicles is an important element for safety.

Didier Patri

Didier Patri was appointed managing director of France Brevets in 2016. He has extensive experience in the creation, management and strategic management of intellectual property assets in France and abroad, mainly in large industrial groups and firms. Didier Patry, formerly Eaton Aerospace’s European Legal Director and responsible for Intellectual Property for the entire Group covering the Europe, Middle East and Africa zones, has been based in Dublin at the group’s headquarters since 2014.

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