12:35 PM -- Alongside its full year results, Alcatel-Lucent announced Friday it is making a concerted effort to extract greater value from its intellectual property by licensing its patents, a move the company believes could generate "substantial proceeds" that some reports suggested will run into hundreds of millions of euros. (See AlcaLu Syndicates Its Patents, AlcaLu Reports €1.1B Annual Profit and AlcaLu CEO Unveils New Vision.)
The move involves the use of a patent broker, RPX, which will act as a syndication broker, offering companies the chance to participate in a licensing deal. Those companies will only have a limited time to register their interest, though, so it's not an open-ended, always-available opportunity.
AlcaLu is hoping that RPX can market its extensive patent portfolio to a broader range of companies than the vendor would manage to reach by itself (especially those from other industry verticals) and so boost its revenues.
In focusing more attention on the value of its patent portfolio, AlcaLu is joining a growing list of companies looking to mine and monetize its intellectual assets. (See Openwave Puts Products Up for Sale, Ericsson Puts Focus on IPR Licensing and Intellectual Property Boom.)
It's clear, though, that some of the reports about the vendor's new strategy have irked CEO Ben Verwaayen, who began Friday's earnings conference call by noting that "this is not about selling the family silver. This is about getting a creative capability to leverage your assets."
There is some doubt about the impact this could have on the company's financials, though. Jefferies & Company Inc. analyst George Notter stated in a research note issued Monday that "we suspect the appetite for these patents may not be high."
— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading