Companies Think "Outside the Chip" to License and Protect IP Assets as Technology Convergence Blurs Lines

OTTAWA--(Marketwire - May 17, 2011) - The patent licensing landscape is rapidly changing, from a historic focus on semiconductors, to a significant rise in licensing activity involving microelectronics based systems technology inside and outside the chip, according to Chipworks (, the world's leader in reverse engineering and patent infringement analysis for semiconductors and microelectronic systems. This trend is expected to continue growing as companies seek to protect their intellectual property (IP) from infringement, and leverage their IP as a powerful source of revenue during a period of mass technology convergence.

"At Chipworks, we help companies outside of the chip market strengthen their patent licensing position by leveraging systems and software patents," said Terry Ludlow, CEO and Founder of Chipworks. "We evaluate patents for licensing value and document compelling evidence of infringement. Often, when multiple systems elements are involved, clients come to us because we can select and combine the optimal investigation techniques from chip analysis through board analysis and functional analysis to software reverse engineering."

Technology convergence is most apparent in consumer products, such as the iPhone and Playbook. It is reinforced by mergers and acquisitions, such as Microsoft and Skype and by high profile court cases including Nokia vs. Apple, and Eastman Kodak vs. Apple and Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM). It is driving competition for market share and creating complexities in licensing, both with respect to the number of players involved and in determining who is ultimately responsible.

"The landscape of high tech patent licensing continues to evolve, growing in complexity as a result of technology advancements, convergence, and greater competition. Finding evidence of patent infringement through reverse engineering is a key element in building and executing a successful licensing program," added Mr. Ludlow. "Chipworks specialized in-house labs include the tools, technology, and equipment needed to conduct analyses requiring a combination of hardware and software expertise. Our trained engineering experts perform difficult analyses while leveraging numerous methodologies to deliver evidence of infringement," added Mr. Ludlow.

Chipworks is the recognized leader in reverse engineering and patent infringement analysis of semiconductors and electronic systems. The company's ability to analyze the circuitry and physical composition of these systems makes it a key partner in the success of the world's largest semiconductor and microelectronics companies. For information, visit

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Sandra Lowenstein