IP auctions are a murky world, especially online brokerages and sales platforms. But this release caught my eye: Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) is selling off its “Sportslink” trademark later this month at an auction managed by ICAP Ocean Tomo. The reserve price is $10K. The Sportslink brand has been used by VZ previously in connection with “planning, implementing, and managing telecommunications for large broadcast sporting events,” it says, and the auctioneer helpfully adds that this “should be extremely valuable to sports content developers, publishers and providers, mobile web-app developers, sports marketing companies and agencies, among others.” Which may be good, but Sportslink.com domain name is owned by someone else, it seems.
Ocean Tomo has been in news over the last three years for conducting these live online auctions, starting with 2006, and the last one it did in in March this year in San Francisco fell flat. Most of them feature a slew of digital media and telecom related patents and trademarks, and hence the interest from tech patent holdings firms such as Acacia Research and Intellectual Ventures. Just last month, it sold off its IP transactions group to ICAP, the online brokering business, for $10 million.
By Rafat Ali