Intel launches a massive patent auction related to cellular wireless connectivity

Intel is making waves in the mobile market this week, as the company has officially made plans to move forward with a massive patent sale.

According to a report from IAM on Tuesday, Intel is moving forward with one of the highest profile patent sales in many years. The publication states that the company is looking to divest somewhere around 8,500 assets from its massive patent portfolio, with all of the ones being off-loaded centered around cellular wireless connectivity.

Back in April, Intel announced that it was pulling out of the 5G mobile market altogether, a move that was facilitated due to the partnership between Apple and Qualcomm announced around the same time. Intel is reportedly looking for a buyer for its 5G smartphone modem business, and Apple is rumored to be in the running to secure that business.

The auction offering is comprised of two parts: the cellular portfolio and a connected device portfolio. The former includes approximately 6,000 patent assets related to 3G, 4G and 5G cellular standards and an additional 1,700 assets that read on wireless implementation technologies. The latter is made up of 500 patents with broad applicability across the semiconductor and electronics industries. Although that represents a large portion of Intel’s cellular IP it is understood that it will retain significant wireless assets.

The original report states that Intel is letting Nader Mousavi of Sullivan & Cromwell to handle the auction process. Intel reportedly expects “non-binding indications of interest from bidders by early August”.

This will surely be one of the biggest patent sales in history, and with the tenure that Intel has held within the mobile market could be one of the most lucrative for whatever entity picks up some of these patents. Of course, as noted in the original report, this could be a move that Intel hopes will drum up even more interest in its 5G smartphone modem business.