Sign up for a free trial to IAM magazine including full archive access by clicking on the button below
You need to have cookies enabled in your browser to permanently hide this pop up.
The InterDigital patent sale was not the only IP-related deal announced yesterday. Elsewhere, Google acquired a mobile transmit diversity (MTD) portfolio of 50 patents from Magnolia Broadband Inc for an undisclosed sum. In the press release announcing the deal Magnolia’s chairman Yaron Eitan, who is also a partner in SCP Partners, the company's largest shareholder, stated: “This transaction is a milestone for Magnolia Broadband. It provides a return to our investors and funding for continued development of Magnolia's MTD technology. We look forward to deployment of this innovative technology in smart phones, tablets and other mobile broadband devices, to provide faster data throughput, better coverage and wider range." This purchase is the latest in a string that Google has made as it seeks to build its patent armoury. There is little doubt that more will follow.
It is noteworthy that a firm called Invention Capital Partners “was retained by Magnolia Broadband to perform an analysis of Magnolia's intellectual property assets and potential market opportunities, and thereafter to engage potential buyers and support the structuring, negotiation and efficient closing of the transaction”. ICP is the firm started by Vincent Pluvinage, who was head of strategic acquisitions & private equity at Intellectual Ventures, until he left the firm in April 2011.
Although ICP has done a few deals since it was established, Pluvinage and co-founder Jacques Lewiner have kept a pretty low profile. You only have to look at the company website to see what I mean! However, I understand that ICP is active in three areas: strategic advice and transactions with companies wanting to monetise their IP or to acquire it; strategic advice and transactions to private equity firms wanting to buy or invest in a new company, or optimise returns on existing investments; and investing or co-investing the firm’s own capital in companies with significant current and future IP potential. I understand that ICP does not do any assertion/enforcement work, so the Google deal was entirely voluntary on both sides.
Pluvinage, Lewiner and fellow partner Patrick Reutens (previously with both Wilson Sonsini and the Venture Law Group, as well as, most recently chief legal officer of Atmel) all have contact books to die for, so we can expect ICP to pop up in a lot more deals over the coming months and years. The Magnolia one has its genesis in a long-term association Pluvinage has with the company’s CEO Osmo Hautanen, as well with Henry Matthiessen, MD of Mooreland Partners, who were Magnolia’s bankers on the sale.
IP management, Patents, IP business