Patent licensing firm MOSAID is planning to license 7,500 patents owned by Qimonda, a German semiconductor company in administration.
Qimonda’s administrator Michael Jaffé revealed on Wednesday that he and MOSAID have signed a memorandum of understanding that paves the way for the Canadian firm to exclusively license Qimonda’s entire patent potfolio.
Jaffé and MOSAID, which already owns more than 5,500 patents, will try to conclude an agreement by December 31, 2013 at the latest, a statement on the company’s website said.
Formed in 2006, Qimonda produced dynamic random access memory (DRAM), a type of memory that stores data within integrated circuits, before an oversupplied DRAM market and the 2008 financial crisis forced it into administration in 2009.
German insolvency lawyer Jaffé took over Qimonda’s administration proceedings and the company continued manufacturing for a short while, but ceased production in April 2009, choosing instead to license its semiconductor IP portfolio.
MOSAID, described by some as a non-practising entity, mainly licenses semiconductor and telecoms patents. It claims to have signed “comprehensive patent licensing agreements covering virtually 100 percent of the world's commodity DRAM market since 1999”, with licensees including Fujitsu, Toshiba and Hitachi.
The proposed deal with Qimonda would take the number of MOSAID-owned patents to more than 13,000 overall.
John Lindgren, president and chief executive of MOSAID, said the company was “extremely pleased” to have signed the memorandum of understanding.
“The Qimonda AG patent portfolio represents some of the industry’s most innovative work in semiconductor memory and semiconductor process technology. Working to realise additional value from this portfolio would benefit the Qimonda estate, and would further cement MOSAID’s reputation as the intellectual property management company of choice.”
Administrator Jaffé added: “This agreement with MOSAID does not affect the ongoing sales process regarding Qimonda’s patent business that is likely to be finalised by the end of this year ... but further exploring the opportunities of licensing the portfolio together with such an experienced partner like MOSAID represents an attractive alternative for the creditors in order to realize the significant value of the portfolio.”
MOSAID’s most recent acquisition – in 2011 – was a company called Core Wireless, which held about 2,000 wireless patents originally held by Nokia. Core went on to use some of the patents to sue Apple, with MOSAID’s Lindgren telling WIPR in an interview that litigating was an “unfortunate part of the business”.
MOSAID, qimonda, Michael Jaffé, dynamic random access memory, John Lindgren