Sept. 19, 2013
Mosaid Technologies will double the number of patents under management to more than 12,500 through deals with two global technology companies, aiming to be among the top tier of global patent holders.
The Ottawa-based company, which was taken private in a $590-million deal in 2011, has also changed its name to Conversant Intellectual Property Management.
"This is a huge win for us," president and CEO John Lindgren said Thursday.
Lindgren said the names of the companies are being kept confidential, but added that they are headquartered in the U.S. and Japan and bring with them more than 6,500 patents and patent applications involving memory chips and memory systems used in consumer electronics like computers, smartphones and tablets.
The U.S. company is known in the consumer electronics field while the Japanese company makes memory chips for devices.
"We are going to manage the patents under a services agreement for a group of investors," he said.
In addition, Conversant is negotiating with tech company Qimonda AG of Germany to provide exclusive licensing services for Qimonda's patent portfolio of about 7,500 patents and applications.
"If that actually results in a deal by the end of the year, we'll have 20,000 patents and that will put us among the top tier, not just of patent licensing firms, but of technology companies that have operations. Very few companies hold that many patents."
Industry watchers have noted that patents have become a valuable asset in the telecom and wireless industries and tech companies often go to court over alleged patent infringements of their products.
"In today's knowledge economy, patent portfolios worth billions of dollars are bought, sold and licensed every year," Lindgren said.
Conversant has grown dramatically in the last five years, tripling its employee base and quintupling the number of patents under management.
Lindgren said the company's former name dates to the 1970s and doesn't show the evolution of the company. The new name reflects that "we much prefer to have a dialogue rather than enter into litigation."
Conversant was taken private by a group of investors led by Chicago-based Sterling Partners. Since then, Sterling and its investors have increased their stake in the intellectual property sector.