BlackBerry is seeking a buyer, and that company or fund the decides to make a bid is going to have to consider the value of the company’s patent portfolio. According to an industry analyst speaking to AllThingsD, BlackBerry’s patents are worth $2 billion to $3 billion alone. BlackBerry’s market cap, the total value of its shares, is currently $5.8 billion. MDB Capital Group CEO told AllThingsD that BlackBerry has about 9,000 different patents and that, those considered, BlackBerry could sell between $4 billion and $5 billion.
The patents are BlackBerry’s true asset, and probably the main reason why a company would want to purchase the company. The IP could create additional revenue for any firm looking to license the patents to other companies in the industry, or could help defend a company, such as Amazon, against patent litigation should another company try to sue it. BlackBerry could also be valuable for a company such as Samsung or Microsoft, which could expand mobile offerings through BlackBerry’s existing enterprise business contacts.
“This is probably the last big and current portfolio available,” Marlett explained to AllThingsD, referring specifically to wireless patents. “I don’t expect any other wireless-focused portfolio this big will come up for sale again anytime soon, so there will be intense interest in this portfolio.”
BlackBerry has faced a rocky road following the relatively unsuccessful launch of its BlackBerry 10 operating system. Once king of the mobile market, the company’s market share is now below Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Its stock price has dipped from a high of $144.56 in 2008 to just $10.91 at the publication of this article.