A few days ago BlackBerry announced that its board had created a Special Committee to probe “strategic alternatives” such as partnerships, alliances and even a sale of the company. A former Palm executive has said that buying BlackBerry would be a bad idea and various sources have been cited in a new report saying that the company is not likely to be wholly acquired by the bigger fish in the sea. Instead, it is believed that BlackBerry will be sold in parts. The company’s intellectual property, its patent portfolio, may very well be one of its most expensive assets.
BlackBerry has 5,236 active U.S. patents and nearly 3,730 active patent applications related to wireless communications. Chris Marlett, who is the CEO of an intellectual property focused investment bank, believes that the company’s portfolio might be worth between $2-3 billion if its acquired by a consortium through some kind of a cross-licensing deal. However, he believes that if the portfolio is acquired by a single company and a bidding war begins, the patent portfolio might earn BlackBerry nearly $4-5 billion. Chris further says that BlackBerry’s portfolio is the last big and current wireless portfolio that will be available for sale, something of this magnitude might not come up again for a long time. Though no reports have been received of any company’s interest in these patents, or in the acquisition of BlackBerry.