ARM announced it will participate in Bridge Crossing LLC, a consortium of major technology companies created to acquire rights to MIPS' portfolio of patents. The British chip designer said it will contribute $167.5 million of the required $350 million.
MIPS is being carved up, the operating business is acquired by Imagination Technologies and the patents go to Bridge Crossing LLC, an allegiance of Allied Security Trust, ARM and a few other firms.
ARM [(LSE: ARM); (NASDAQ: ARMH)] today announced that it is a leading member of Bridge Crossing LLC, a consortium of major technology companies affiliated with Allied Security Trust, which has entered into an agreement with MIPS to obtain rights to its patent portfolio. The MIPS patent portfolio includes 580 patents and patent applications covering microprocessor design, system-on-chip design and other related technology fields. The consortium will pay $350 million in cash to acquire rights to the portfolio, of which ARM will contribute $167.5 million.
The transaction will, upon completion, support continued innovation in system-on-chip design, whilst removing any potential litigation risk presented by the MIPS patent portfolio with respect to the consortium members. The consortium will make licenses to the patent portfolio available to companies not within the consortium.
"ARM is a leading participant in this consortium which presents an opportunity for companies to neutralize any potential infringement risk from these patents in the further development of advanced embedded technology," said Warren East, CEO, ARM. "Litigation is expensive and time-consuming and, in this case, a collective approach with other major industry players was the best way to remove that risk."
This transaction, which is subject to MIPS shareholder approval, and customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013. ARM’s contribution of $167.5 million will be funded out of existing cash reserves.