In February, Alcatel Lucent (ALU) initiated a corporate restructuring that included plans to license almost 9,000 U.S. patents. The license project was recently cancelled, because the assets have generated no cash over the past seven months. So, what’s next? Maybe an auction? If the quality and strength of these patents matches or exceeds competitor portfolios, then maybe now is the right time to establish a long equity position.
POSTED BY Betsy Nesbitt AT 3:24 P.M. September 25, 2012TAGS: Betsy Nesbitt | Strategy | Valuation
Making the decision to invest in patented technology requires a manager to map and evaluate a series of decisions and uncertainties. Real options pricing can enhance IP valuations in situations where key assumptions regarding market, financial, and technology variables are identified and estimated with reasonable accuracy. When coupled with the income and other valuation approaches, such as comparable market transactions, options thinking can guide financial and strategic decision making.
Companies buy and sell intellectual property (IP), including patented technology, in all industries, ranging from high-tech products like semiconductors to relatively lower-tech products like non-durable consumer goods. Businesses can take advantage of these often fast-moving opportunities if they have the appropriate IP valuation tools. These tools are particularly important when market and technology uncertainties are highand managers need to model different market scenarios.
Over the past two years, ipCG completed several IP valuations in the IT industry. In most cases, our clients contracted the models for external purposes - to estimate IP value for M&A negotiations. However, work products generated significant internal benefits as well. We share this case study with you to demonstrate the many strategic and managerial insights that can be gleaned from thoughtful IP valuations.
The 25% rule is a rule of thumb used to estimate royalty rates for intellectual property (IP) licensing transactions by approximating the risk/reward relationship between a licensee and licensor. A licensee only pays a portion of profits to the licensor, because of the additional costs and uncertainties that it incurs to convert the technology in to revenue.