Orange County Business Journal

Acacia Shares Up on 4G Buy

Chris Casacchia Friday, January 13, 2012

Shares of Acacia Research Corp. were up Friday after the Newport Beach-based company announced an acquisition that bolsters its patent portfolio in 4G technology.

Investors sent Acacia shares up more than 2% in early afternoon New York trading to a market value of about $1.6 billion on word an Acacia unit bought Adaptix Inc. for $160 million.

The Dallas-area company holds 230 issued and pending patents in 13 countries, including ones for transmitting large amounts of digital data over radio waves.

Acacia executives said they believe the technology will prove key in the race for 4G supremacy being played out among national wireless carriers in Orange County and across the country.

The buy is somewhat of a deviation from Acacia’s buying strategy, which tends to focus on a set of patents rather than an entire company.

Acacia licenses patents for technology companies. When it can’t strike a licensing deal, it sues when it finds a company infringing on a patent.

It splits sales, licensing fees and court settlements with the patent holders.

Acacia sees about $170 in annual revenue and has grown the top line four straight years.

In an unconventional twist, the company has worked with companies it has sued or settled with on behalf of other clients.

Its clients include Seoul, Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co., Microsoft Corp. of Redmond, Wash., and Redwood Shores-based business software maker Oracle Corp.

It also has struck licensing agreements with—or settled patent infringement claims against—a roster of Orange County-based companies, including flat TV designer and seller Vizio Inc. and Sage Software Inc., both in Irvine, and others.