On Wednesday, Reuters reported that part of Alcatel-Lucent’s (ALU) upcoming restructuring plans include “how to make more money from 29,000 patents after an initial project with licensing specialist RPX Corporation fell short of expectations”.
In February 2012, ALU signed a deal with RPX Corporation, whereby RPX would handle licensing activities of ALU’s patent portfolio to RPX’s clients, which at the time included Google and Intel.
Envision IP analyzed ALU’s portfolio of approximately 29,000 worldwide patents to better understand what these patents may be valued. ALU currently owns 16,025 United States patents, with 4,083 US patents having claims related to various wireless technologies.
Within its US wireless patent portfolio, ALU owns 3,529 patents which relate to 4G (3GPP LTE) and its underlying and predecessor technologies, such as UMTS, GSM, and EDGE.
In comparison, Nortel Networks’ sale of ~4,500 US patents to a consortium including Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, RIM, and Sony in 2011 for $4.5 billion included 1,082 US patents which relate to 4G and its underlying technologies.
Likewise, Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility and its ~17,000 US patents for $12.5 billion, shortly after the Nortel deal announcement, included 3,580 US patents related to 4G and its underlying technologies.
Using strictly a comparable deal analysis, which may be applicable since the patented technologies of Alcatel-Lucent, Nortel, and Motorola Mobility overlap significantly, the two prior deals may provide a reasonable valuation range for ALU’s US patent portfolio.
ALU and Motorola’s US patent portfolios are about the same size in sheer numbers, and ALU also has about the same number of 4G-related US patents as Motorola. ALU has about three times the number of 4G-related US patents than Nortel.