RealNetworks Sells Intel $120M in Patents and Software

RealNetworks (NASDAQ:RNWK) announced today that it made a deal with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) to sell the tech company video patents and software for $120 million. The package includes about 190 patents, 170 patent applications and its next-generation video encoding technology.

Intel believes that some of the patents are important to the trending area of digital video, such as RealNetworks’ next-generation codec, a program crucial to video conferencing, streaming media and video applications.

The companies pledged to work together. “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,” Renee James, general manager of Intel’s Software and Services Group, said in a statement.

Intel’s software group has been gradually building up over the years, with thousands of employees, focusing more on behind-the-scenes software such as programming tools than branded mainstream products. It also lays a claim in the operating system market through its 2009 purchase of Wind River, which among other things helps companies build devices with Google’s Android operating system. With other tech companies battling it out over patents right now, patents have become more relevant.

For RealNetworks the deal means walking away with a great deal of cash in hand. CEO Thomas Nielsen said it gives the company a chance “to boost investments in new businesses and markets while still protecting our existing business.”