RealNetworks, Inc. has announced that the company "has signed an agreement to sell a significant number of its patents and its next generation video codec software to Intel Corporation for a purchase price of $120 million." RealNetworks will retain rights to use the inventions in current and future products. The two companies have also signed a "memorandum of understanding to collaborate on future support and development of the next-generation video codec software and related products."
The transaction will provide Intel with a broad portfolio of technology, supporting the company's two major pushes at the recently completed International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) - Ultrabooks and smartphones. In briefings at CES, Intel demonstrated their solutions for visual computing, for which they have established a "Website Beta" at intel.com/software/vcsource. The RealNetworks software will complement Intel's visual computing developer tools, which include a Graphics Performance Analyzer (GPA), a Media Software Development Kit (SDK) for access to media codec accelerators on new processors such as IvyBridge, and an Open Computing Language (OpenCL) SDK.
RealNetworks stated that the sale included "approximately 190 patents and 170 patent applications", while a search of the U.S. Patent database identified 111 patents and 86 open applications assigned to RealNetworks, spanning a wide range of audio and video coding techniques, communication systems and Digital Rights Management (DRM).
Additional patents and applications are associated with companies that RealNetworks has acquired in recent years, such as Trymedia(3), Sony NetServices(9), WiderThan(2), Listen.com - creator of Rhapsody(6), and Xing - a developer of MP3 software(49).
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