In this week’s episode of Stuff You Should Know About IP, Thomas Colson and Raymond Guarnieri welcome special guest Tony Trippe to discuss patent data. Patent data can reveal trends and indicate where a field is headed. The best way for a smaller company, like Jawbone or Fitbit, to compete with a larger company, like Apple or Nike, is to have a great patent portfolio. If a smaller company doesn’t have a great portfolio of its own, it can be beneficial to acquire another company’s patents. The earlier the priority date of a patent application, the better; nothing published after that date can be used to invalidate the patent. Each feature of a product can be covered by its own patent. A savvy investor can analyze public information in patent portfolios and then use that information to guide investments. Companies with well-developed patent portfolios tend to be traded at higher values. A company can use patent information to find new technologies and for competitive intelligence. Patent information can also be used to predict new products that will be released. Patent applications are published eighteen months after having been filed. Tony Trippe predicts that Northrop Grumman, a company in the quantum computing field, might form a major partnership with an established player in the field. In just a few hours, a quantum computer can solve an equation that a huge network of supercomputers would need hundreds of years to solve. Quantum computers present cybersecurity concerns, and they also have applications for chemistry, molecular modeling, other multiple body problems, and encryption.