10 Patents that Launched Billion-Dollar Empires

To pivot or not to pivot. That’s the question hundreds of technology startups ponder when their original vision fails to take flight. For some, it’s a successful move. Consider Pinterest, which launched in 2009 as a mobile shopping app called Tote, or Groupon, which began life in 2007 to promote consumer activism before morphing into a wildly successful daily deals site.

Other startups remain true to the original vision of the founders. By analyzing their first patent filings, it’s easy to see which ones have remained committed to plans likely first sketched on a whiteboard in a spare bedroom. In many cases, these “seminal patents” closely describe what the company stands for today.

Here are the first patents granted to ten of Silicon Valley’s hottest companies. Fledgling startups when they first filed to protect their intellectual property, they’ve since created billion-dollar businesses around the seminal inventions detailed below. Most of them have gone on to build out robust patent portfolios, and several are using IPfolio to manage those today.

Source: ipfolio.com