Xerox to Sell Patents in Sealed Bid Auction

By Gene Quinn
June 30, 2014

Xerox (NYSE: XRX), a global leader in business processes and document management systems, has engaged intellectual property brokerage ICAP Patent Brokerage, the world’s largest intellectual property brokerage and patent auction firm, to auction 239 U.S. patents and associated foreign patents and pending patent application. The patents represent projects from Xerox’s five global research centers, including PARC, a Xerox Company. The patents and pending U.S. and foreign applications will be divided into 27 different lots and are spread across 26 distinct technological fields. Bidding will take place between July 24th and July 29th. To facilitate due diligence, ICAP Patent Brokerage has partnered with IPStreet as their analytics partner, who will provide unique analytics and visualizations.

Xerox, headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, serves clients in some 180 different countries, providing business services, printing equipment and software for commercial and government organizations. Even after this asset sale Xerox will still have more than 12,000 active U.S. patents in its portfolio. “It is vital that we seek the best return on our innovation investments,” said Sophie Vandebroek, Xerox chief technology officer and president of the Xerox Innovation Group. “We do that not only by using intellectual property to expand our services and product offerings, but also by licensing our patents and where appropriate, selling them.”

The Xerox patents being place up for sealed auction bidding by ICAP Patent Brokerage should be exceptionally attractive to a variety of entities. “Xerox and ICAP Patent Brokerage will be presenting a series of patent portfolios, concentrated on heavily-cited and technologically-relevant patents,” said Doug Rhoten, Chairman of the Board for ICAP Patent Brokerage. The assets that will be auctioned come from a diverse array of technical fields, including mobile devices, web content, wireless networks, compression and decompression technology, intelligent imaging, electronic paper displays, high definition video conferencing, multimedia shopping and more.

“The Xerox auction marks a new phase for ICAP as our brokerage services continue to transition toward the sale of large scale, multi-lot corporate assets,” said Rhoten “It is a privilege for us to offer these assets on behalf of Xerox. These patents were born without budgetary constraint and evolved in an environment that holds pure research and development as its core value.”

There is no doubt that Xerox has for a very long time been dedicated to innovative advances in a variety of technical fields. Xerox and its subsidiaries are research and development stalwarts, with Xerox and its related subsidiaries annually being awarded more than 1,000 U.S. patents across a broad spectrum of the services, software, and hardware disciplines, as well as in the physical and life sciences. IPWatchdog periodically profiles Xerox and its patents as a part of our Companies we Follow Series, and we will keenly watch this asset sale as it moves forward to completion.


Among the lots that have been most highly valued are the following sub-portfolios of patents and pending applications:

  1. Advanced User Interfaces & Display Devices

This lot includes 12 U.S. Patents, 7 foreign patents and 1 pending foreign patent application.

With priority dates going back to 1997, this sub-portfolio is directed to improvements in user interfaces and display devices, including: methods to detect right versus left handedness, with resulting data being used to better determine the interactions of the user. Other assets in this lot relate to methods and systems to combine a multiple display units with different resolutions. The methods rely on display unit-specific scaling to compensate for different pixel sizes of each unit, which preserves the geometry of images displayed across multiple displays and allows the user to view a substantially continuous image. See, for example, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,630,922 7,629,945 7,546,540.

Within this lot to be auctioned are methods to interpret user input based on physical manipulation of a device, which uses multiple sensors, including accelerometers to detect relative spatial information; gyroscopic, radio, or infrared positional sensors to determine absolute position; and various thermal or photo sensors to gauge changing temperature and light levels. One patent specifically covers an interface that responds to manipulations that include twisting, folding, bending, squeezing, shaking, tilting, spinning, or lifting. See, for example, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,243,074 and 6,243,075.

  1. Document Enrichment

This sub-portfolio up for sealed bid auction include 16 U.S. Patents; 1 pending U.S. Patent Application; 6 foreign patents; and 3 pending foreign patent applications.

This part of the Xerox patent portfolio is directed to a system for enriching documents by dynamically adding relevant information to content, or suggesting services which may add such information. A meta-document may operate with or without user intervention. It automatically searches, collects and adds information to the original document based on the contents or on information about the user as provided by a user’s mobile device. This adds intelligent behaviors to the document including: the ability to understand and describe its contents; the ability to automatically find similar documents; the ability to learn and adapt to changing situations; and the ability to assist the user with content creation via auto-completion and auto-correction. An enriched form of the document can also be created selectively and remotely, similar to the formation of a print request, for later retrieval. See, for example, U.S. Patent Nos. 7,757,168, 7,370,034 and 6,820,075.

  1. Web Content, Workflow, and Analytics

This sup-portfolio includes 16 U.S. Patents; 23 foreign patents; and 6 pending foreign patent applications.

Generally speaking, this subportfolio provides improved techniques for managing content, enhancing the browsing and search experience, and analyzing user data for demographic purposes. The patents in this lot include claims to methods for providing emergent and flexible workflow management for personal information in message-based systems, such as e-mail, by including metadata in generated messages. The messages can have embedded personal information for tracking, allowing for a shared workflow representation. See, for example, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,396,951, 6,829,599, 7,162,522, and 7,496,767.

Furthermore, documents and other information items tied to messages can be tracked as well, and managed visually in workflow systems. Also included are methods for automatic help provisioning on devices, reducing the need for technical support services. The sub-portfolio also contains methods for search enhancement, including contextual clustering for new knowledge generation based on new attribute combinations. It includes a method for improving answer relevance in meta-search engines by using query and feedback analysis to improve the accuracy of subsequent queries. Still further, this patent lot includes a method for multilingual search that does not require the user know how a query maybe be formulated in a target language. See, for example, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,856,415, 7,139,800 and 7,146,560.

  1. Mobile Services Across Wireless Networks

This sub-portfolio consists of 10 U.S. Patents; 18 foreign patents; and 4 pending foreign patent applications.

With priority dates going all the way back to 1998, this portfolio relates to improvements to devices and services operating over wireless networks. Several patents relates to a method for determining the proximity of mobile devices in a wireless network. Such a method provides solutions for stability and orientation problems associated with WiFi triangulation by using inexpensive sensors in the mobile device for motion detection and signal calibration. See U.S. Patent No. 7,042,391 and 7,129,891.

Also within this lot of patents are assets covering methods for wirelessly updating document devices, such as printers and copiers, which allows the devices’ option features and capabilities to be altered. Features that can be altered remotely without the need for a field service call include scan to email; scan to Internet Fax; immediate job overwrite, etc. See, for example, U.S. Patent Nos. 7,197,633; 7,321,966; and 7,334,261.

Auction Information

Those interested in bidding on any one of the 27 Xerox patent sub-portfolios may submit an official sealed-bidding starting 9:00 A.M. Pacific Time July 24, 2014. Bids must be received by 5:00 P.M. Pacific Time on July 29, 2014.

For more information, or to see more detailed information about the entire Xerox portfolio please visit the Xerox Patent Auction page on the ICAP website.


The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

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There are currently 1 Comment comments.

  1. Benny July 1, 2014 7:28 am

    Quote- “…These patents were born without budgetary constraint …”
    Sure sounds like a fun place to work.