Monday, December 15, 2008

Time for Russia to Buy the Foundations of a Future Tech Boom, Cheap

One man's loss is another man's gain, so the saying goes and the faltering and chronically ill Silicon Valley is no exception. This is a potential gold mine for Russia.

Since the spring of 2008, silicon Valley and much of the rest of the American high tech industry has been in a tailspin along with the rest of the US economy. Amongst the computers, cars, manufacturing equipment and office furniture heading for the auction block are a giant volume of patent rights. Investors and buyers are few and far between and selection is plenty and relatively cheap.

What is a nation to do?

Why go on a buying binge, what else? This is a prime opportunity for the Russian Federation to ensure the leadership of future Russian technology for only a few billion dollars. This will allow Russia to realize a long term return on a relatively small investment, not only in an improved tax base for its blooming tech companies and tier wealthier employees, but also through the rent off of these very patents.

By setting up a fund now and whole sale buying of patents, the government can then turn around and 1. charge existing companies who are using these patents and 2. rent the patent rights exclusively to Russian companies or those who have localized in Russia. This will assure a steady return on investment as well as guarantee the nation's edge against rivals.

But like everything in life, fortune favors the bold and opportunity is fleeting.

1 comment:

Matthew Saroff said...

No offense intended, but with what money?

Right now, the Russian Central Bank has its hands full protecting the Ruble, which has already been devalued a number 2 or 3 times.

It may be that the Ruble problems will allow Russian programmers to better compete against Indian software houses, but purchases seem unlikely.