It's good to see that Patent Auctions are apparently back up running again. ICAP OceanTomo issued a press release yesterday to highlight the USD 11.43 Million received in their 11th auction.
The press release highlights two sets of lots. An exclusive licence to a group of patents owned by the University of Southern California on a multimedia architecture went for USD 7.7 Million in a pre-auction sale.
A set of patents owned by Walker Digital LLC for which Ocean Tomo is the exclusive sales agent, according to this report. The bidding for this group started at USD 50 Million according to the press release, and stopped at USD 350 Million without reaching the reserve price. No doubt post-auction bidding will be continuing by some parties to access the portfolio. Indeed ICAP OceanTomo Managing Director Dean Becker clearly states that he plans to finish work on this lot within weeks.
Patent auctions have been criticised for allowing patents to fall into the hands of "trolls" who then exploit them. They do provide a means, however, for researchers and universities to monetarise their assets and allow the generation of cash which can be ploughed back into research and development, as the deal with the University of Southern California clearly shows.
Photo Credits: Dean Becker from www.oceantomo.com and Jay Walker from Inventors Digest (www.inventorsdigest.com)