Intel Corp. is buying a large portfolio of RealNetworks Inc.’s patents and software for $120 million, with RealNetworks retaining some specified rights to use the patents in current and future products. Additionally, the agreement calls for the two companies to collaborate on future support and development of the next-generation video codec software and related products.

RealNetworks was a pioneer of online entertainment, so Intel now owns several foundational streaming media patents. RealPlayer, GameHouse online and social games, the Helix streaming media platform, a wide variety of SaaS products and services provided to global carriers are also included in the portfolio of approximately 190 patents and 170 patent applications. RealNetworks said its businesses and operations will be unaffected.

The sale brings RealNetworks a welcome influx of funds. Thomas Nielsen, RealNetworks president and CEO said the deal “unlocks some of the substantial and unrealized value of RealNetworks assets,” adding that the additional capital would enable the company to invest “in new businesses and markets while still protecting our existing business.”

Intel said the acquisition will enhance its ability to meet customers’ changing expectations. “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. “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.”

Related links:

Press release –

Intel news brief –

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