Intel, RealNetworks sign $120 million patent deal

Last week, RealNetworks Inc., a provider of internet media delivery software and services, announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its patents and next generation video codec software to Intel Corporation for a purchase price of $120 million. 

Under the terms of the agreement, RealNetworks (Seattle, Wash., USA) will provide approximately 190 patents and 170 patent applications and next generation video codec software to Intel (Santa Clara, Calif., USA).  RealNetworks will still retain certain rights to continue to use the patents in current and future products, says the company.

This announcement follows Intel’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) announcement earlier this month, where the semiconductor chip maker announced a major move into the smartphone business with deals with Motorola Mobility (Libertyville, Ill., USA) and Lenovo (Beijing, P.R.C.).  Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini announced that the new agreement would produce multiple smartphone devices starting in 2012.

According to Renée James, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Software and Service group, the patents provided in its deal with RealNetworks will be used in a number of its devices, including smartphones and tablets.

"As the technology industry evolves towards an experience-centric model, users are demanding more media and graphics capabilities in their computing devices," says James.  "We believe this agreement enhances our ability [to offer] innovative solutions to end users across a wide spectrum of devices, including through Ultrabook devices, smartphones and digital media."

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.

RealNetworks does not anticipate the sales to 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, says RealNetworks.

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