Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Intellectual Ventures buys up Transmeta's portfolio

Intellectual Ventures Symbol a typical Transmeta idea It is a rather interesting time to buy a microprocessor patent portfolio. Tech PC sales and related probably will drop a bit in 2009. From an article by Rick Merritt in EE Times, (01/28/2009 9:02 PM EST):
SAN JOSE, Calif. ‹ Intellectual Ventures, a patent development and licensing company, has acquired the patent portfolio of Transmeta Corp., a startup that made an unsuccessful bid to develop x86-compatible processors. The portfolio includes more than 140 issued U.S. patents and others pending and issued in the U.S. and elsewhere. The announcement comes as Novafora Inc., a venture-backed company founded in 2004, said it completed the $255.6 million acquisition of Transmeta originally announced in November. Novafora will use Transmeta's technology to boost its video processor designs; Intellectual Ventures will license the Transmeta technology on a non-exclusive basis. "The acquisition of the Transmeta semiconductor patents augments one of the most comprehensive patent portfolios in the semiconductor field which now includes more than 2,000 patents," said Paul Reidy, vice president of semiconductor licensing at Intellectual Ventures. "Some of the recently issued patents detail some of the most interesting breakthroughs in microprocessor architecture we've seen in the last decade or so," he added in a press statement. Transmeta had generated royalty revenues of about $300 million licensing its patents on areas such as low-power processors and code translation to chip makers including Intel Corp. Novafora did not indicate what role the patent transaction played in its purchase of Transmeta. "The addition of Transmeta's power management technology to our video processor will enable us to target Novafora's products to the broadest range of video-oriented devices," said Zaki Rakib, chief executive of Novafora. In November, Novafora announced it entered into a non-exclusive patent license agreement with Advanced Micro Devices. Under the terms of the agreement, AMD transferred to Transmeta 700,000 shares of Transmeta's Series B Preferred Stock held by AMD.