Using Patent Data to Make Sense of Seemingly Questionable Business Deals

Although there are numerous benefits to monitoring patent data, one of the most important involves staying up to date with what your competitors are doing. The right data can be especially useful to help understand why a competitor makes a particular decision. A recent notable example of patent data providing an explanation for a competitors business decisions can be seen in the acquisition of Livongo Health Inc. by telemedicine giant Teladoc Health. In October, Teladoc acquired Livongo Health as a subsidiary in a massive $18.5 billion deal (a deal many investors felt was greatly overpriced).

At the time of the acquisition, Livongo had no published patents or applications other than a portfolio of 15 design patents. Seemingly, Teladoc Health had paid $18.5B for a company with no functional IP. However, just two months after the acquisition was finalized, Livongo had 8 patent applications published simultaneously. All 8 of the patent applications are related to remote glucose monitoring and telecommunications with Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE’s). This type of technology takes Livongo’s expertise in blood glucose monitoring, and incorporates the telemedicine features from Teladoc to allow for remote diabetes management. These 8 applications assure that Teladoc (through its Livongo subsidiary) will be the market leader in diabetes telemedicine care.

This is just one example of how patent data can be used to understand the strategies a company employs. Seemingly bad business deals may actually make sense when you consider the patent data behind the deal. This type of data can also hint toward the future plans of a company. For example, knowing that a large telemedicine company like Teladoc has made recent acquisitions to medical startups with small portfolios or patent pending technologies could suggest that Teladoc plans to continue to look for companies to acquire. It also may suggest that any companies acquired in the future by Teladoc may have patent applications that have not been published at the time of acquisition.

The Teladoc-Livongo acquisition provides just a glimpse into some of the potential uses of patent data. For an interactive and visual patent data experience, make sure to check out the AI Biotech/Diagnostics Patent Forecast®. What can patent data do for you?