London British patent licensing group BTG has acquired the rights to a portfolio of Intellectual Property and patent applications relating to video and Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies developed by Intelligence at Large Inc (IAL), part of the US Shipstone Group.
The portfolio of IP covered by the deal covers key functions in audio, video and data transmission, as well as Internet telephony. Most relate to key features specified in H.323, the standard to promote compatibility in videoconference transmissions over packet networks.
This is a new area for BTG, which has a strong track record in commercialising patents and technologies through licensing deals. It has commercialised major breakthroughs such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Multilevel Cell (MLC) memory, and numerous advances in medical technology.
Synergy Research Group estimates that the VoIP market grew 21% over last year despite a marked technology re cession. The US based Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) cites VoIP as one of the best prospects for high growth in the sector.
Anthony Lando, BTG's Chief Operating Officer, said that to enter the sector, the company was seeking fundamental patents that define packet-based communications. "We are pleased BTG and IAL are partnering to develop and license packet-based audio and videoconferencing technology."
IAL's patents and patent applications in the sector arose from the development of BeingThere, a Macintosh-based videoconferencing product released in the early nineties. IAL also developed a popular OEM-VoIP product called WebTalk for Quarterdeck Corporation.
Cartright Reed, co-inventor of the VoIP technology and current President of Shipstone Group, IAL's consulting practice, added, "we developed communication technology for the Internet in its infancy.
"Through BTG, this fundamental portfolio will be licensed on a global basis to VoIP, semiconductor, and communications softwa re companies, in addition to leading telecommunications providers."
Since 1998, IAL's focus has been on intellectual property development - spinning off consulting and development projects to Shipstone Group.
The group works with leading technology companies to manageand integrate "disruptive technologies" into their product lines. Members of the group have designed, developed and commercialised products in Internet telephony (VoIP), videoconferencing, imaging, wireless, embedded systems and streaming media for companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Xerox.