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IP, IP Asset, Patent, Walker Digital

Walker Digital Patent Licensing Deals Confirmed – “Mystery” Suitor Looms

In a clever PR move, Walker Digital quietly announced last week that its re-invigorated licensing campaign has generated $25 MM in revenue over a 90 day period (in other words, since teaming up with strategic consultant IPNav).  Naturally, the announcement also mentioned that “[s]ettlement agreements prevent Walker Digital from disclosing specific parties.” The press release, however, came after Patent Connections noted the significant, voluntary dismissals with prejudice of Apple from Walker Digital’s various lawsuits.  Of course, after PC reported the likelihood of a significant agreement being reached with Apple, sources “with knowledge of the matter” leaked to Business Week that Walker Digital conducted significant transactions with Apple, Groupon and a third, unnamed, company.

Speculation has abounded regarding the identity of the third company with some blogs noting that the candidates included “Amazon, Sony, Microsoft, Google and Facebook.”  Of course, the identity of the third patent-licensing suitor is not really as big a mystery as the blogs claim. All signs clearly point to Facebook, which Walker Digital has pursued aggressively.  (See Jay Walker “Likes” Facebook — Mystery Deal Revealed).  Not only are the lawsuits against the other four major candidates marching forward, but Facebook has been dismissed with prejudice in all five lawsuits pending against Walker Digital.

In the four most recent cases, Walker Digital’s dismissal notice was filed voluntarily.  In the fifth case, pending since last year, Facebook and WD jointly filed a stipulated motion for dismissal (embedded below).  While the words “settlement agreement” don’t appear in the filing itself, anyone with experience in patent litigation would recognize that the joint filing suggests the existence of a settlement agreement. Combining that information with the leaked revelation of three major companies concluding deals with Walker Digital, the most logical conclusion is that Facebook is one of the companies CEO Jon Ellenthal mentions as “taking meaningful licenses to our technology.”

Another interesting point, dismissal of the lawsuit over four patents related to network-based purchases came on June 21, 2011 … the same day Walker Digital issued this announcement about selling several pioneer patents.

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