RIMM’s Patents Could be Worth Less than Believed

 @DavidZie on September 21 2011 12:05 PM

Blackberry developer Research in Motion's patent library may not be as valuable as previously estimated. Although the total value may be $2.5 billion, on a monetized basis they could be worth only $1 billion, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said.

RIM is under pressure from activist shareholder Jaguar Financial to show better performance after the Waterloo, Ontario-based company reported dismal second-quarter results. 

Jaguar president Victor Alboini told IBTimes he is contacting other investors about strategic alternatives, which could include selling its patent portfolio. RIM shares traded Wednesday at $22.05, not much higher than their 52-week low of $21.60.

Misek explored the value of long term evolution (LTE) patents held by RIM as well as other players in the smartphone market including Qualcomm, InterDigital, Motorola Mobility, Nokia and Samsung for his analysis, which included the portion that came from an auction of Nortel Networks patents won by a syndicate including Apple, RIM, Microsoft and Ericsson.

RIM disclosed it paid $780 million of the $4.5 billion total for Nortel's IP.

RIM's wireless patents are likely valued around $1.28 billion, including Nortel, Misek estimated. Security patents are valued around $500 million. But the LTE patents are valued only around $386 million, minuscule behind LG's $7.9 billion, Qualcomm's $7.3 billion and InterDigital's $3.3 billion.

Seeing little chance of a bidder for all of RIM, Misek suggested the board might sell patent licenses for royalty income or possibly sell them off for their higher value.

The analyst continued to rate Research in Motion underperform with a price target of $21.

 

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