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IP, Patent

Patent Broker Ocean Tomo Auctioning Massive Collection Of Covenants

According to a press release from Ocean Tomo, patent owner Round Rock Research LLC will auction off four ‘Covenants Not to Sue’ at the upcoming Spring auction.  This is an interesting move, and, offhand, I wonder whether this a “Hail Mary” by ICAP as a way of drumming up interest in the auction.

From the release:

ICAP Ocean Tomo – the global intellectual property brokerage firm – will be auctioning four “Covenants not to Sue” at its Spring 2011 Live IP Auction event on March 31st in New York City. Each covenant provides a purchaser with the freedom to operate in a specific field.

Originally developed by Micron Technologies, Round Rock Research’s portfolio of approximately 4,200 patents and pending applications spans the United States, and much of Europe and Asia, encompassing key technologies …

Round Rock owner John Desmaris said:

“We are currently litigating these patents, and are pursuing other infringers of the portfolio,” said John Desmarais of Round Rock Research LLC. “The auction is an excellent opportunity for interested parties to easily acquire a covenant and avoid future litigation.”

Of course this leaves several unanswered questions, including:

  1. Are the lots being sold as an “absolute” auction, or will the auction be subject to a reserve? (And if so, what is the reserve?)
  2. Would the four covenants combine  to cover all 4200  patents in Round Rock’s portfolio?
  3. What are the terms of the covenants?
  4. Are  the covenants transferable?
  5. Do  the covenants run with the patents?
  6. Will Round Rock’s current defendants be eligible to bid on any of the covenants?

I will try to find out some more information on this and report whatever I find here.

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