Vringo drops stock, buys over 500 Nokia patents

Vringo drops $31.2 million worth of stock to buy hundreds of Nokia patents worth a fraction of the cost. In what looks like the mobile equivalent of a yard sale, Nokia continues to cut away the fat.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

The Nokia asset strip and sell-off continues.

Just today, the Finnish phone maker said it would sell off its Qt team and technology to Digia for an undisclosed sum. Patents are next on the agenda. Vringo, the part intellectual property, part mobile platform company said today it is selling $31.2 million worth of stock to buy over 500 Nokia patents, worth in the region of $22 million.

Must be worth it, you'd think?

Vringo will sell 9.6 million common stock shares at $3.25 each, rounding the figure to $31.2 million. In return, Nokia agreed to sell a patent portfolio of more than 500 patents and patents pending worldwide in cash. 

The patent collection relates on the most part to cellular devices such as infrastructure, backbone technology, and signal transmission. 

According to a Vringo statement:

Thirty one of the 124 patent families acquired have been declared essential by Nokia to wireless communications standards. Standards represented in the portfolio are commonly known as 2G, 2.5G, 3G and 4G and related technologies and include GSM, WCDMA, T63, T64, DECT, IETF, LTE, SAE, and OMA.

Because these patents are essential to compatibility, they will have to be licensed on fair and reasonable (FRAND) grounds. 

In an 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the firm said it will pay $22 million for the patent pleasure and will be paid on or before September 14. In the paperwork, Nokia will hold on to a "a non-exclusive, worldwide and fully paid-up license" for its own products.

Nokia continues to slash and burn whatever it can in what looks like a mobile equivalent of a yard sale. Nokia has cut 10,000 jobs this year alone, and brought in the bankers to mull a buy-off of its luxury line of phone, Vertu.

The Finland-based firm has a patent portfolio worth around $6 billion, but it needs to hold on to whatever it can for future sale. Nokia is burning through its cash reserves at an alarming rate, in the region of $800 million in the last quarter alone after it reported a $1.9 billion operating loss last month.

Nokia was up by more than 3.3 percent on the New York Stock Exchange this morning on the news. 

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