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Telecom equipment giant Nokia is offloading more than 6,000 patents related to 4G, 5G, SDN, VR, and more in the wake of its recent merger deal with Alcatel-Lucent.

According to a listing from transaction firm Aqua Licensing LLC, which was first spotted by Law360, Nokia is selling a portfolio containing 6,069 granted patents and 734 patent applications. The patents up for grabs come from patent families in six different technology categories, including Wireless; Services; IP and Networks; Access, Fixed, and Optical Networks; Hardware and Components; and User Experience, Mechanics, and Materials.

Nokia's Director of Communications, IP, and Regulatory Affairs Mark Durrant released the following statement on the sale:

“We’ve previously shared that we are taking steps to optimize the Nokia patent portfolio and this transaction is a part of that. We believe this offers other operating companies the opportunity to acquire patents to enhance their own portfolios and we wish AQUA Licensing success in their efforts.” 

Credit: Aqua Licensing LLC

It seems some of the patents on the table relate to key areas of development in telecom today.

Aqua reports the Wirelesss Technology cluster of assets includes 2,715 patents covering radio access networks, mobile core, and radio frequency operation and functionality for 2G, 3G, and 4G, as well as “certain coverage relevant to 5G and short range radio.”

Additionally, the Access, Fixed, and Optical Networks category includes 942 patents covering claims related to virtual reality, data processing, video coding, display techniques, and others addressing “broad areas of telecommunications systems and wireless networks.” The lifespan of those assets runs through 2035, the firm said.

The Hardware and Components category covers claims related to optical fibers, optical amplifiers, integrated circuits, optical waveguides, semiconductor optical devices, and more. The IP and Networks category covers core networks, software defined networking, asynchronous transfer mode, data packet processing and transmission, and a number of IP and protocols including Voice over IP. The Services category includes assets covering multimedia, content search, delivery and sharing, entertainment and gaming, streaming, IPTV, broadcast transmission, messaging, location and context-based services, and cloud services and analytics.

The firm notes 82 percent of the patents are from Alcatel-Lucent, but indicated another 15 percent of the assets (listed as Nokia Technologies patents) originated with Nokia’s old Devices and Services business. The portfolio also includes assets (3 percent) from the former AT&T Bell Labs Laboratory, Aqua indicated.

Nokia completed its merger with Alcatel-Lucent late last year. Its Devices and Services business was sold to Microsoft back in 2014.

Aqua noted the assets from Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Technologies, and AT&T Bell Labs each come with their own “encumbrance issues” placing restrictions on use of the portfolio. The exact details of those conditions will be shared with bidders who agree to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Offers for the portfolio are due by August 31, 2018.

The full listing can be viewed here.

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