Acacia Research Corp. (ACTG), the patent licensing company run by Executive Chairman Louis Graziadio, said a subsidiary has acquired an additional portfolio of semiconductor patents from Renesas Electronics Corp.
Newport Beach, California-based Acacia said the patents relate to power management, system-on-chip system architecture and device manufacturing processes and packaging. Acacia didn't identify the unit making the acquisition. It has two units that hold semiconductor patents. Limestone Memory Systems LLC has a portfolio that covers both DRAM and flash memory technologies used in virtually all electronic communications and computing devices. Power Optimized Memory Solutions LLC has a portfolio that covers technologies and devices similar to those of the Limestone portfolio, as well as Solid State Drives (SSDs).
"Renesas and Acacia have had a publicly known alliance for a while, so today’s announcement about Acacia’s acquisition of Renesas patents isn’t all that surprising or controversial," said Mark Gober, a senior director at 3LP Advisors, in the IP advisory firm's Silicon Valley office.
The last phases of the alliance, in which Acacia was granted broad access to Renesas' patent portfolio with an eye toward cooperating on monetization in Japan,was announced in July 2014.
At time, the head of Acacia’s Tokyo Office, Hiro Seki, senior vice president and general manager Asia, said, “this is a great honor for Acacia and is proof that we are regarded as a valuable business partner to Renesas. I am extremely pleased that Acacia has successfully met the sensitive business needs of our Japanese partner resulting in this new and enhanced strategic patent licensing agreement.”
The acquisition of the Renesas portfolio is the first patent purchase since Acacia was forced to write down the value of its Adaptix portfolio after an unfavorable verdict last December. The ruling led to the ouster of former Executive Chairman Robert "Chip" Harris and former CEO Matt Vella. Acacia paid $160 million for Adaptix and had identified it as one of its marquee portfolios, which were supposed to bring in revenue of more than $100 million.
Since then, Acacia has husbanded its cash reserves even as former licensing executives wondered why it wasn't buying new patent portfolios and shareholders lobbied for buying back shares. Under Graziadio, Acacia has invested up to $50 million in Veritone Inc., a private cloud-computing based artificial intelligence firm.
Officials from Acacia couldn't be reached immediately for comment.
The press release contains some language under the safe harbor section that appears to have been left in by mistake.
"These statements including those of Matthew Vella relating to receiving broad and lengthy access to the Renesas patent portfolio, along with the latitude to license the same portfolio, are based upon our current expectations and speak only as of the date hereof.
The extraneous language continues with the company's "ability to ensure continued access to the Renesas patent portfolio and our success in licensing this broad portfolio, including our ability to grow our base of future revenues from access to the Renesas patent portfolio may differ materially and adversely from that expressed in any forward-looking statements as a result of various factors and uncertainties, including the extent to which Acacia can identify patent portfolios of sufficient quantity and quality which have substantial economic life and which cover technological advances that are prevalent in the relevant markets, the ability to successfully develop licensing programs based on specific Renesas patent portfolios,rapid technological change in relevant markets, changes in demand for current and future intellectual property rights, legislative, regulatory, and competitive developments addressing licensing and enforcement of patents and/or intellectual property in general, and general economic conditions."
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