FRANKFURT Nov 22 The administrator of insolvent
German chipmaker Qimonda said on Thursday he had started the
sale of more than 7,500 patents.
In the past years, technology companies have invested
billions of dollars in buying up patent portfolios that they can
use against rivals.
Qimonda, which was spun off from Infineon in
2006, collapsed in 2009 as chip prices plunged and then filed
for insolvency after failing to hammer out details of a rescue
package in time.
"The intellectual property rights relate to inventions that
are relevant for the semiconductor, computer and communications
industry," Qimonda's administrator Michael Jaffe said in a
It is the first large chunk of patents to come on the market
since one-time photography giant Eastman Kodak put
its intellectual property up for sale.
Kodak filed for Chapter 11 protection in January and has
said its intellectual property portfolio of roughly 1,100
patents was worth as much as $2.6 billion.
However, bids have been lower than it hoped for, including
bids below $500 million from prospective buyers such as Apple
Inc and Google Inc.
A spokesman for Qimonda's administrator declined to say
anything about the expected value of the patents on sale.
Earlier this year Google bought Motorola Mobility in
a $12.5 billion deal aimed at building up an arsenal of patents,
while an Apple-led consortium received the go-ahead to purchase
a trove of patents from bankrupt Canadian company Nortel
Along with buying patents, technology companies have also
ploughed money into litigation in the United States and Europe.
In August, Apple scored a landmark legal victory over
Samsung when a U.S. jury found the South Korean
company had copied critical features of the iPhone and iPad and
awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages.