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The buyers at the Ocean Tomo auctions revealed

Back in March I wrote about the publication of a report that revealed just how important Intellectual Ventures had been to the Ocean Tomo IP auctions that took place between 2006 and 2009. Well, the lead author on that report - Tom Ewing of Avancept - has penned an article for the next issue of IAM (due out on 1st June) that looks at who was doing all the buying at those auctions, as well as some of the reasons for them doing so. It is very good stuff and will be fascinating reading for IAM subscribers.

As a little teaser, below is a list of which companies bought most at the auctions between 2006 and 2009. I don't think this has ever been freely available before (though you can find it in the Avancept report referenced above):

• Intellectual Ventures 229 lots

• Open Invention Network 8

• Resource Consortium Limited 5

• Wi-Lan Inc 5

• Altitude Capital Partners 3

• RPX Corporation 3

• Adobe Systems 2

• Asaba Group 2

• General Patent Corporation 2

• Philips 2

• Mosaid Technologies 2

• Samsung Electronics 2

• Silicon Laboratories Inc 2

35 other companies bought one lot each.

Ewing also reveals that several patents bought at the auctions have subsequenty been asserted by NPEs:

At least four patent lots purchased at auction by NPEs have been used in patent litigation. Vtran Media Technologies, LLC spent US$990,000 on Lot 21 in the Fall 2006 auction and has subsequently sued nearly a dozen companies for infringement of the video on demand patents it purchased. Eleven Engineering Game Control LLC bought Lot 72A at the Spring 2009 patent auction and has filed infringement lawsuits against Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. Corveq LLC Imaging bought Lot 26 at the Fall 2008 auction for US$27,500 and has subsequently sued Adobe and Kodak for patent infringement. Quito Enterprises LLC paid more than US$1 million for Lot 6 at the Spring 2008 auction and subsequently filed suit against some 13 companies for patent infringement.

There is a lot more like this in the article we will publish in IAM 42. Be sure not to miss it.


Joff Wild
IAM Magazine
20 May 2010

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IP litigation, Patents, IP business, IP finance, IP valuation

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