Motorola Urged to Sell its Patent Portfolio

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Billionaire investor Carl Icahn who fought an acrimonious battle with Motorola to force it to split into two separate companies is again hounding the company this time to sell its patent portfolio.

In a stock market filing, Motorola Mobility noted that Carl Icahn had held meetings with the company and said that the company should "explore alternatives regarding its patent portfolio to enhance shareholder value."

In the filing, Icahn is reported to have said that Motorola Mobilities patent portfolio, which is substantially larger than Nortel Networks' and includes numerous patents concerning 4G technologies, has significant value. In addition, there may be multiple ways to realize such value given the current heightened market demand for intellectual property in the mobile telecommunications industry.

Nortel recently sold its patent portfolio for USD4.5 billion, as tech firms race to buy up patents in order to protect themselves from patent lawsuits.

Although a sale may raise considerable funds for the company in the short term, in the long term, the license fees paid to the new owners may end up costing more. Nortel was only able to sell its patent portfolio as it has no long term future due to its bankruptcy proceedings.

Without stating that it explicitly refused to sell the patent portfolio, in response, Motorola Mobility said that its recent 22% rise in revenues was,  in part due to the fact that it has one of the strongest and most respected patent portfolios in the industry with over 17,000 patents and 7,500 pending.

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