Monday, April 07, 2008

Reports Are In on Ocean Tomo's Record-Breaking Patent Auction

Ocean Tomo recently announced that the Spring 2008 Live Intellectual Property Auction, held on April 2nd at The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, had cumulative sales totaling $19,629,500, with an average sale price per lot of $370,368. From Ocean Tomo's press release:

In a historic moment, Lot 25, a notable IP portfolio owned by the subsidiary of a world-renowned multi-national corporation, sold for $6,600,000, setting a new world record for the highest selling price for a patent lot at a multi-lot live IP auction. In addition to the Lot 25 record-breaking sale, related to the processing of digital data in bit streams, the auction heralded three other transactions in the seven-figure range in the areas of computer systems and software, information management and data system, and location based services and logistics.

Fifty-three of the eighty-five offered lots were sold on the floor for a 62% transaction success rate, and forty-three of the sixty-nine sellers sold lots resulting in a 62% seller success rate. Other successful sellers included venture-backed companies, individual inventors and large multi-national corporations.
Such sales further exemplify the value of IP in today's business world, and also demonstrate the increasing liquidity in IP assets. The Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Blog picked up on the Ocean Tomo auction and added:
Organisations are willing to pay top dollar when they come across assets they want to get their hands on. And it’s not only at auctions that this is happening. Look at RIM, for example, which last week announced that it had spent over $300 million on acquiring intangible assets in the 4th quarter of its financial year. This amount includes €120 million ($188 million) spent on acquiring a European patent portfolio at the end of last year. Then there’s patent brokerage IPotential, which raised $104 million for clients in 29 transactions during 2007. And these are just two examples of IP monetisation that have come into my head immediately. Many reading this will know of quite a few more, I am sure.
- CNET has a great "on the scene" report on the Ocean Tomo auction, and can be accessed here.

- Read more from the IAM Blog here and here.

- There's also this interesting report from Market Watch, which highlighted the plight of one inventor (Yongyong Xu), who didn't generate much interest from the bidders, but, "[a]s the auction drew to a close, however, Xu slipped into conversation with a group of men outside in the hallway. He reported later that there is some enthusiasm about 'licensing and litigation' opportunities for his patent, though the interested parties would like more time to examine it."

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