Marathon Patent Group services a broad array of patent owners to help them license their portfolios, from individual inventors up to Fortune 500 companies. Marathon, via its operating subsidiaries, also acquires or invests in promising patent assets/rights with the ultimate objective of generating licensing revenues.
Since its inception, the company has been quite busy sourcing top-shelf patent portfolios via channels. An example would be their tight-knit working relationship with one of the global leaders in full-service patent monetization, IPNav, and its CEO, Erich Spangenberg, who is part of that relationship stretching back to 1998.
The experienced licensing team at MARA has devised an extremely rigorous vetting process involving collaborative due diligence, which also relies heavily on the established licensing strategies developed by IPNav – strategies that have helped IPNav pull down some $620M in settlements over the last decade alone.
MARA’s current patent load out, amassed either via direct upfront payment or through participation in revenue generation for the patent sellers, currently tips the scales at some 35 U.S. patents and 64 international patents. Just last week (Oct 22) MARA reaffirmed its patent licensing prowess to markets yet again with the acquisition of a portfolio of four U.S. patents in the process automation (production) and enterprise resource planning area, dealing with the implementation of adaptive learning methods. This marks the third portfolio the company (or one of its operating subsidiaries) has snapped up in just the four weeks preceding the announcement itself.
Marathon is a lean, mean and appropriately aggressive outfit that has a solid balance sheet and no debt. With Q2 figures on display, MARA is reporting the first real quarter during which the company has reported significant licensing and settlement revenues. This profile provides investors with a clear glimpse of MARA’s financial status via 33 active lawsuits and over 42 different defendants (reported Aug 15). With gross revenue that broke $1.5M on settlement and licensing proceeds, it should be obvious where this company is headed. In fact, MARA pushing numbers like that in their first real quarter of patent enforcement activity should be a major signal to investors that both the strength of their patents and the veracity of their enforcement capabilities are something to keep a close eye on in coming months. The sheer speed with which Marathon has managed to drop the hammer on monetization of their portfolio says it all.
Earlier in August (Aug 2) the company’s newly launched campaign for wholly-owned subsidiary Relay IP Inc., resulted in filing of a patent infringement lawsuit against leading New York metropolitan area telecommunications and media company, Cablevision, over their Internet protocol network multicasting territory (USPTO #5,331,637 – multicast routing using core-based trees). This was just shortly after the company’s initial Relay IP victory in July, a short three months into the launch of the new licensing campaign, as Relay IP successfully entered into a settlement and license agreement with a top tech firm over the Relay IP patent. Another patent infringement lawsuit in Relay IP, this time against 10 major named defendants and filed in June (including big names like The Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. and BATS Trading Inc.) offers yet more tangible evidence of the strength of MARA’s position. Relay IP territory is essentially IP multicast and this patent position has huge coverage in the growing world of IPTV applications like distance learning or televised company meetings. It is also the most widely used protocol in Protocol Independent Multicast or PIM.
Earlier in the year (May 30), MARA acquired three U.S. and ten international patents from undisputed global electronics and electrical engineering heavyweight, Siemens, via their wholly-owned Bismarck IP subsidiary. The three patents relate to enhancement features and performance technologies in switching communication terminal equipment and Private Branch Exchanges (PBXs). Trusted ally IPNav has already been tapped to help MARA monetize this fertile patent territory and the strategic might of the company’s overall patent position should be self-evident when also taking into account their Sampo IP and Cyberfone assets (covering areas of distributed application communications and menu/form-driven data transactions respectively). IPNav’s sophisticated toolset includes their custom IPNav Analyzer, a patent analytics and market analysis engine, as well as their transaction and licensing agreement database which spans multiple industries and technology areas.
Founder and CEO of MARA, Doug Croxall, marveling at the robust and highly scalable IP monetization platform the company has put together, emphasized the 6.4M in cash the company had on hand as of late June. Add to that the lack of debt on their balance sheet, and these leading indicators reveal how spry MARA will be in terms of portfolio expansion and monetization this year and on into 2014.
A diverse yet strategically relevant portfolio that is constantly growing, and a close partnership with patent monetization juggernaut IPNav spell out tremendous upside in a world increasingly dependent on distributed information and communication technologies. Marathon’s modular approach to territory acquisition via outright purchase or partnering with the patent holder, ultimately resulting in actively managed patent licensing campaigns, is a brilliant model, and this Alexandria, Virginia-based company has the executive muscle to support their inevitable growth dynamics as well. Croxall himself cut his teeth in the industry with powerhouses like KPMG and Motorola, then moved on to head up Firepond, where he achieved some $90M in patent licensing revenues from 2004 to 2009 before going on to found his own successful, privately-owned patent holding company, LVL Patent Group.
The company’s Sampo IP assets (Sampo IP, LLC) saw the first and second settlement agreements landed within four months of the kick off of their licensing campaign in March, and these assets in particular represent a rapidly evolving area for MARA where ongoing infringement continues on the centrifugal communication and collaboration method patents. These patents cover facilitation of communication between members of a distributed discussion group using communication devices and a central agent.
The Cyberfone assets (CyberFone Systems, LLC) cover a range of certain transactional data processing, telecommunications, network and database inventions, and includes financial transactions and enforcement which is open-ended against such high-profile named defendants as Alcatel-Lucent, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, and UPS. The settlement achieved with Denon Electronics, LLC in June of this year on the Cyberfone assets illustrated how secure the company’s patent position is and the truly foundational digital communications and data transaction processing areas covered by this portfolio for the finance, telecom, and wireless sectors alone are enormous.
Learn more about Marathon Patent Group, Inc. at www.MarathonPG.com
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