RIM, Intellectual Ventures Strike Deal

3/30/11

Intellectual Ventures, ex-Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold’s new-wave patent middleman business, has cut a new licensing deal with Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), makers of the BlackBerry smartphone.

As Intellectual Ventures’ senior VP of licensing Don Merino described in today’s in-depth Xconomy interview, licensing deals like this are an increasingly common way that IV is using to make money from its portfolio of more than 30,000 patents. Merino says IV’s holdings can actually function as a bit of a hedge for a company, especially in a category like mobile, where manufacturers own a vertical array of intellectual property but might like to add more, particularly when it comes to legal battles.

Financial terms of the RIM deal weren’t disclosed in today’s announcement. This marks the second big Seattle-area business connection for RIM in recent months: In mid-February, the Canadian company acquired Seattle’s Gist, which combines business contacts with online social profiles to give people a better picture of folks they’re working with.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @

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