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Nortel Patent Sale & Bikram Yoga-great combination

by Andrew Watson on 28 May 2010

Joff Wild at the IAM Blog is reporting that the Nortel patent portfolio is up for sale. I’ve added a comment about the price and some conjecture on who might be the bidders but after an hour and a half of sweaty yoga I reckon there are others to consider.

Here is my comment, Joff’s still to approve it.

“It’s an interesting question as to what these are worth. The bigger question I’d be asking though is to whom are they worth most.

Take Qualcomm. As I understand a key part of Qualcomm’s IP strategy they want to be dominant in LTE and the portfolio contains a number of LTE essential patents. But $1.1bn or anything approaching this represents a giant gamble for Qualcomm as you’d have to show a potential RoI several times that, and several years out so any NPV calculation becomes interesting. So although maybe one of the natural acquirers, its a giant swallow for Qualcomm.

Go to Nokia. Personally I can’t see the Head of IP at Nokia, albeit they have made a lot of money in 2 and 3G eIPR licensing, being able to persuade his CEO that $1.1bn now with an ROI several years out, and speculative, being justifiable. Nokia’s focus is elsewhere too, focused on catching up Apple and its next gen of smartphones.

Who else could even play at this level?  All of the NEMs have pretty much exited 2 and 3G licensing. Philips are out of comms as are Alcatel-Lucent out of an active licensing program. Samsung could, just could at a stretch play. I hear that the Korean government has a state sponsored IP M&A fund–but again these are massive numbers.

The Chinese, Huawei. Hmmm. No real licensing expertise. Possible.

Scarily, IV might become an option as might Coller. I doubt they’d want it all but eIPR in the hands of NPEs would be of high high value. eIPRs have an odd financial dynamic in Standards world as IPcom have shown with their use of the Bosch portfolio to sue Nokia.

Break up might just about be the best option you know. With selective sales to 2-3 NPEs. Good for shareholders/creditors, bad for the telecoms market though adding another layer of licensing cost into an already complicated value web.

Intriguing….though I’ll wager an awful lot of money that the sale price won’t get anywhere near $1bn.”

I’ve had a few other overnight thoughts on likely bidders—nothing like Bikram Yoga to stimulate the brain and body.  For the record mine looks absolutely nothing like this…in fact I’m pretty sure this is not one of the 36 postures I’ve ever done in Bikram.


IAM 250: world interactive map

by Andrew Watson on 8 September 2009


In our last post I developed some word clouds of out of the firms and professional associations out of the data in the IAM 250 listing of the world’s leading IP strategists that Joff and co. kindly set me up with. Next up, I’ve turned all of the world’s leading IP strategists as ranked by IAM into an interactive world map.

The full map has its own page on the blog at:
(it’s easier to use with a larger space)

You can choose the opacity and map data source (including my friends at Open Street Map) up in the top right corner. Along the side, you can scroll through all the IP strategists in alpha-by-first-name order to find them on the map. Each listing has their name and location and firm name, and for those that went for a full listing in the IAM 250 guide, I also had website URL data that has been added (if anyone feels like handcranking the remaining 170 or so URLs, just let me know and I’ll update the map).


Many of the IAM 250 cluster in certain areas such as the US and Europe, (Africa and South America are a little lonely) but the full extent of the clusters in the cities and regions are only really obvious when you zoom all the way in.

Take California for example:


Northern California is clearly a hotbed of activity with lots of people listed, but of course you’d expect that with Silicon Valley and the start up scene there.

If you zoom in to the Bay Area, you get lots more detail:


IP strategists like the peninsula, which having spent some time in Menlo Park, I can see why.

For those interested, the process involved first cleaning up the address data into a good format to use for geocoding. I then used the great tools at GPS Visualizer to geocode all the addresses, which in turn generates a set of Lat/Longs for each address. About 20% of them geocoded to the wrong address either because of international address formatting errors, differences in English spelling of foreign place names, or just needed tweaks on the data (Talal Abu-Ghazaleh is not in this Cairo for example). Add in some more tools at GPS Visualizer and hand editing the code with TextMate to add in HTML for the URL tags and add it to the map and voila – IAM 250 as an interactive map.

More thoughts and bar charts in a future post.

Thanks again to Joff and Gavin and the rest of the team at IAM for both producing the list and granting me access to their data. The data and IAM 250 listing is the copyright / database rights of IAM, with the geo data and map tools credits on the actual map. Screenshots of Google Maps used with permission. Special thanks to GPS Visualizer for making the tools available to help put this together.

What do you think?


Collaboration and the IP services market

November 10, 2008

This post is expanded from a comment by Andrew and is reproduced here to start the debate on collaboration among IP service providers. — JH When I first met Joff Wild of IAM in September 2003 the market for IP services could best be described as evangelist/very early adopter (in MBA speak). Joff migrated IAM […]

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Top IP strategists – further thoughts on IAM’s search

October 9, 2008

This is a guest post from fellow ipVA member and CEO Andrew Watson. Andrew will contribute to Tangible IP from time-to-time on areas of IP strategy and around contractual IP. As my first post onto our blog, I’ll first pay Jordan the compliment of having been so disciplined and persistent in getting this and our […]

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IAM’s hunt for the top 100 IP strategists

September 10, 2008

Intellectual Asset Magazine (IAM) is on the hunt for the top 100 global IP strategists. In response, the IPEG Blog, from the folks at the Intellectual Property Expert Group, asks the question: How does [strategy as “direction and scope of an organization over the long-term”] work in “intellectual property strategy”, so, in other words, how […]

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