Joff Wild has directed us to an interesting comment in the context of the Novell/Microsoft patent sale. Remarking on the differences between private transactions and public auctions, Joff’s source notes:
This [private sale] is how MOST high value patent portfolios are sold. That’s why the ICAP OT auction process only deals with low end portfolios. The high end stuff doesn’t trade that way.
Of course, this comment flies in the face of my previous statements about some of the interesting patents that were available at the ICAP Ocean Tomo Auction, the report being summarized with a couple of bullet points:
- Quality patents can be acquired at the upcoming ICAP Ocean Tomo Auction with minimal capital investment.
- The ICAP Ocean Tomo Auction provides lots that may be of high interest to non-practicing entities seeking to license patents for monetary gain, or operating and aggregation entities acting “pro-actively” to prevent the same patents from being asserted.
Of course, I did also caution that the auction was also listing a fair number of opportunities that did not represent a value proposition. Still, I think its a bit too sweeping to suggest that ICAP only deals with low end portfolios, but if the source was referring to large, corporate portfolios numbering in the hundreds, or even thousands (like Novell, Nortel, and Micron) then I’d have to agree. But that’s like saying that the French didn’t put the Louisiana Territory up for public auction either …