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InterDigital explores sale of patents, company
July 19, 2011 / 6:50 PM / in 6 years

InterDigital explores sale of patents, company

BANGALORE (Reuters) - InterDigital Inc (IDCC.O) said its board is evaluating strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company or of its patents, a few weeks after a consortium of technology giants picked up Nortel Networks’ patents for $4.5 billion.

InterDigital’s shares rose 26 percent to $52.43 Tuesday on Nasdaq, raising its market value by half a billion dollars.

The company holds and licenses around 8,800 mostly telecommunications patents that range from basic wireless system designs and processes to increase network coverage, to saving battery life and the efficient use of bandwidth.

“Over the past year, we have seen the value of intellectual property rise substantially as major players in the mobile industry increasingly understand the strategic and economic value of this type of asset,” Chairman Terry Clontz said.

On July 1, a group comprising Apple (AAPL.O), Research In Motion RIM.TO, Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), EMC Corp EMC.N, Ericsson (ERICb.ST) and Sony (6758.T) bought bankrupt Nortel Networks’ NRTLQ.PK patents for $4.5 billion.

Nortel had put up for sale 6,000 patents and patent applications spanning various wireless, Internet and semiconductor technologies -- a treasure trove for telecom latecomers such as Apple and Google.

Google (GOOG.O), which had bid for, but failed to win the Nortel patents, has a weak telecom patent portfolio that makes its three-year-old Android software platform vulnerable to lawsuits.

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based InterDigital has retained Evercore Partners and Barclays Capital as its financial advisers.

Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel, Prem Udayabhanu

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