Home & Office

BT hopes to cash in on high-tech patents

$100m a year? That sounds like a plan...
Written by Heather McLean, Contributor on

$100m a year? That sounds like a plan...

BT is looking to make more money from the thousands of technology patents it holds. The telco's research centre in Adastral Park (formerly known as Martlesham) is famous for churning out inventions, but failing to turn many of them into profitable businesses. But now in a six-year deal, a US company is going to try to license BT's patents to third-parties. BT hopes the deal could bring in as much as $100m a year by the end of the contract. Intellectual property specialist ipValue will act as an agent for all BT's existing and future patents, and will try to secure deals with other firms who wish to license the telco's technology. ipValue is a start-up put together by the iFormationGroup, and names Goldman Sachs among its main shareholders. BT's research and technology unit, BTexact Technologies is handling the deal for 14,000 patents to be licensed to organisations in the US and Canada, with non-exclusive rights in Japan. Director of enterprise venturing at BTexact, Mike Carr said: "We expect to generate $100m per annum towards the end of this licensing agreement." Carr added: "There's been a natural instinct in the technology space to keep intellectual property patents private. This gives us another revenue stream," he said. BT intends to use revenues generated by the project to make the company more appealing for shareholders plus sustain its research and development site Adastral Park near Ipswich. The licensing of intellectual property is worth around $150bn per year and is expected to grow by 30 per cent over the next five years. Joe Zier, president of ipValue said: "People have woken up to the fact that intellectual property is a major under-utilised asset."
Editorial standards