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Alcatel-Lucent inks patent deal amid mixed Q4 results

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 3:17pm
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

Alcatel-Lucent moved to cash in on the booming intellectual property market today amid mixed fourth-quarter results, offering licenses to its 29,000 strong patent portfolio.

The French infrastructure vendor formed a licensing syndicate with RPX Corp., which purchases and licenses patents that could be used against its clients, said to include Google and Intel.

RPX customers will be able to license patents from Alcatel-Lucent's substantial portfolio of fixed-line and wireless communications, semiconductors, consumer electronics, multimedia, optical, software, cloud computing, applications and network security.

"We expect to generate substantial proceeds from this arrangement," Alcatel-Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen said.

Those proceeds could help boost sales, which dipped slightly to $5.63 billion, or 4.25 billion Euros, during the fourth quarter, down from revenue of $6.43 billion during the same period the previous year. Despite the decline in sales, profits more than doubled to $1.15 billion after a $467 million tax windfall increased net income figures. However, adjusted operating income declined 20 percent to $418 million.

Revenue in Alcatel-Lucent's wireless division plummeted nearly 23 percent to $1.18 billion on weakening demand across much of the business. The declines resulted from a drop-off in spending by operators in the Americas, which offset growth in Europe and Asia-Pacific, where demand for GSM, small cells and W-CDMA equipment drove growth.

Verwaayen said Alcatel-Lucent plans to follow through on previously announced cost-cutting measures amounting to $662 million this year. Unions say the reorganization will eliminate 1,800 jobs, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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