IPCom lands cash bonanza from D.Telekom settlement-sources

Wed Jul 3, 2013 9:25am EDT

* Telekom pays 'low-to-medium triple-digit' mln euros-sources

* IPCom owns about 1,200 patents for telecom standards

* Germany is major battleground for patent litigation

FRANKFURT, July 3 (Reuters) - IPCom's victory over Deutsche Telekom in a slew of court cases over patent licences has netted the intellectual property holding company hundreds of millions of euros, its biggest deal to date, two sources close to the situation said.

A deal announced last month settled all 20 cases between IPCom and Deutsche Telekom over patent infringements, but neither party gave financial details at the time.

IPCom will receive "a low-to-medium triple-digit million euro" amount from Deutsche Telekom, the two sources told Reuters.

"It is their biggest settlement so far," one person said.

The deal will give Deutsche Telekom access to IPCom's patent portfolio in communications technology.

Deutsche Telekom and IPCom declined to comment.

Technology companies including Apple and Google have invested billions of dollars in buying up patent portfolios that they can use against rivals and have also ploughed money into litigation in the United States and Europe.

Germany has become a major battleground in the global patent war between makers of mobile phones, tablet computers and their operating software, as court actions there have proved to be cheaper and speedier than in other jurisdictions.

Founded in 2007, IPCom has built a technology and telecoms portfolio of around 1,200 patents, including intellectual property covering the operation of networks from German industrial group Robert Bosch and Hitachi.

Based in Pullach near Munich, southern Germany, IPCom is backed by U.S. private equity firm Fortress Investment and has been in long legal battles with handset makers, including HTC and Nokia.

IPCom scored a major victory in a case against Nokia when the UK High Court in London ruled a patent which covers how channels are assigned to users of some mobile networks was valid.

Last month U.S. President Barack Obama took steps intended to curb lawsuits brought by companies - which some critics label "patent trolls" - that make or sell nothing but specialise in suing others for infringement of intellectual property.

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