Cypress transaction marks first big patent deal for IPVALUE and Longitude Licensing partnership

Back in July, IAM Market’s Knowledge Centre reported on the acquisition of Longitude Licensing – the Irish firm formed in 2013 to manage and monetise the patents of bankrupt Japanese semiconductor company Elpida. The buyer was private equity player Vector Capital, which also owns IP strategy consultancy IPVALUE and possesses a stake in seasoned technology licensor Technicolor.

Speaking to IAM Magazine at the time of the Vector buyout, IPVALUE CEO Murali Dharan indicated that his firm and Longitude would be working closely together now that they had become stable-mates. “IPVALUE will be the engine supporting Longitude,” he said. “The way that Vector views it is that Longitude and IPVALUE are very complementary. IPVALUE is the platform investment and the two will operate very synergistically with no change in the way that Longitude is working.”

It would appear that the two firms’ working relationship is already well under way. USPTO records reveal that between early August and late December last year, Cypress Semiconductor made a series of patent assignments to an entity named Monterey Research LLC. In total, Cypress has transferred 2,118 US patent assets to this entity in four separate assignments. On three of these, Longitude Licensing is named as the correspondent.

Monterey Research is operated by IPVALUE, as indicated on the latter’s website, which states: “IPVALUE can operate either as an agent representing IP owners or as a principal operating Independent Licensing Companies with patents spun out from original IP owners. These Independent Licensing Companies are managed under the Partners for Corporate Research subsidiary.”

The only ‘independent licensing company’ currently mentioned on the website is Monterey. According to the site, the “mission of Monterey Research is to license patented technology representing years of research and innovation by over 1,000 inventors… Patents in the Monterey portfolio are directed to important technologies used in semiconductor devices and computing systems”.

Spansion – which completed a $5 billion merger with Cypress in March 2015 – selected IPVALUE to assist in the monetisation of its patents back in August 2013.

Whether it is IPVALUE or Longitude that takes the lead on managing and monetising this particular portfolio remains to be seen. But with the level of experience and expertise on hand at both firms, one expects their cooperation to go beyond the transaction stage.

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