Stamford, Conn.-based Walker Digital is a research and development company most famous for creating online travel site Priceline.com and the Synapse magazine-subscription company now owned by TimeWarner.
The deal buoys ICAP Ocean Tomo, which acquired the patent-auction business from Chicago-based IP broker last year. Those auctions have seen declining transactions since Ocean Tomo’s founding in 2006.
The Walker Digital portfolio consists of more than 700 issued and pending patents, many of which date to the very beginning of the age of the Internet. Walker Digital was founded in 1993, at the start of the digital revolution.
ICAP Ocean Tomo’s Dean Becker, said the deal with Walker Digital represents “perhaps once in a lifetime a portfolio of this size, quality, and early priority dates comes onto the market. This is a rare opportunity for those companies that do not have a substantial e-commerce portfolio to lay a foundation with a single purchase.”
ICAP Ocean Tomo’s next IP Think Tank featuring the Live IP Auction will take place March 24-25, 2010 at The Ritz Carlton in San Francisco, California.
“I chose ICAP Ocean Tomo to represent this portfolio not just because they were the market leader,” Jay Walker said in a statement. “They worked with us to design a customized approach that allows for pre-emptive offers from companies and business creators that don’t want to wait for an auction, but want to bring my inventions to market quickly at a price they can afford. I realize that some of my inventions may not go to the highest bidder, but I know that they will go to organizations that are committed to creating jobs and offering new solutions to the consumer.”