Intel splashes $120 million on RealNetworks patents


Chip giant Intel is looking to establish itself in the mobile space, yesterday announcing it will spend $120 million (76.4 million) on RealNetworks' patents and software.

The deal means Intel will be able to add some extra graphics power and speedy video compression, or decompression, to its products.

RealNetworks, developer of the well-known media player RealPlayer, will still be able to use the 190 patents it is selling to Intel. The processor maker has also bought 170 patent applications.

Selling these patents to Intel unlocks some of the substantial and unrealised value of RealNetworks assets.

"As the technology industry evolves towards an experience-centric model, users are demanding more media and graphics capabilities in their computing devices," said Renee James, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Software and Services Group.

"The acquisition of these foundational media patents, additional patents and video codec software expands Intel's diverse and extensive portfolio of intellectual property.

"We believe this agreement enhances our ability to continue to offer richer experiences and innovative solutions to end users across a wide spectrum of devices, including through Ultrabook devices, smartphones and digital media."

The two companies have also signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on building next-generation video codec software and related products.

"Selling these patents to Intel unlocks some of the substantial and unrealised value of RealNetworks assets," added Thomas Nielsen, RealNetworks president and CEO.

"It represents an extraordinary opportunity for us to generate additional capital to boost investments in new businesses and markets while still protecting our existing business."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.