by Anton Shilov
01/30/2012 | 08:30 PM
Intel Corp. has signed an agreement with RealNetworks to purchase approximately 190 patents and 170 patent applications worldwide, as well as next-generation video codec software, for $120 million. The acquisition enhances Intel's ability to offer richer experiences and solutions to end users across a spectrum of devices, including through notebooks, smartphones and digital media.
As part of the agreement, Intel will acquire RealNetworks’ foundational streaming media patents, its next generation video codec software and a software development team expanding Intel’s diverse and extensive portfolio of intellectual property. RealNetworks will retain certain rights to continue using the patents in current and future products.
"As the technology industry evolves towards an experience-centric model, users are demanding more media and graphics capabilities in their computing devices. The acquisition of these foundational media patents, additional patents and video codec software expands Intel's diverse and extensive portfolio of intellectual property. We believe this agreement enhances our ability to continue to offer richer experiences and innovative solutions to end users across a wide spectrum of devices, including through ultrabook devices, smartphones and digital media," said Renée James, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the software and services group.
In addition to the sale of the patents and next-generation video codec software, RealNetworks and Intel signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on future support and development of the next-generation video codec software and related products.
"Selling these patents to Intel unlocks some of the substantial and unrealized value of RealNetworks assets. It represents an extraordinary opportunity for us to generate additional capital to boost investments in new businesses and markets while still protecting our existing business. RealNetworks is pleased Intel has agreed to acquire our next generation video codec software and team. Intel has a strong reputation as a technology innovator, and we believe they are well positioned to build on the development work and investment we've made in this area," said Thomas Nielsen, RealNetworks president and chief executive.
RealNetworks does not anticipate that the sale of the approximately 190 patents and 170 patent applications and next generation video codec software will have any material impact on its businesses. RealNetworks businesses include a wide variety of SaaS products and services provided to global carriers, RealPlayer, the Helix streaming media platform, GameHouse online and social games, SuperPass and other media products and services sold both directly to consumers and through partners.