In 2006, Ocean Tomo revolutionized intellectual property sales with the first ever multi-lot live patent auction.
The groundbreaking event drew international media exposure. Behind the scenes, buyers relied on IntralinksTM to facilitate due diligence on 78 auction lots offered by sellers who were spread across the globe.
“Simply put, there is no way we could have run the auction without Intralinks. It provided the backbone for the due diligence process. Further, it wouldn’t have been possible for buyers from around the world to conduct their due diligence on the multiple patent lots in the auction any other way”
– Andrew Ramer, President, Ocean Tomo Auctions, LLC
Ocean Tomo is the U.S.’s only intellectual property (IP) merchant bank. Buying and selling IP, whether patents, trademarks, or copyrights, requires a significant amount of due diligence. A live, multi-lot auction is even more complex. Before the event, buyers around the world need to review information about the assets in order to bid appropriately.
Ocean Tomo would not be able to manage the due diligence process on 78 separate auction lots using the traditional paper-based process. The company began looking at online systems to facilitate buyers’ research and due diligence.
The company realized a custom solution could not be built fast enough to meet the auction date, nor provide the high level of functionality needed. Ocean Tomo wanted the online auction to meet its stringent standard of excellence. Price and terms were important, but the highest priority was choosing the best solution available.
Ocean Tomo selected Intralinks as the backbone for the due diligence process. Because of the widespread use of Intralinks Exchanges™ within the financial services industry, many sellers and bidders would already be familiar with the interface. Ocean Tomo could also customize the look of the user experience to match its brand — a feature no other provider could offer.
Nearly 400 people attended the live auction. Underscoring the importance, major news media flocked the event. More than $3 million worth of IP sold on the floor, with another $5.5 million transacted in subsequent off-floor deals. Months later, post-auction transactions continued.
The first multi-lot live patent auction was so successful that Ocean Tomo plans to hold at least six more during the following three years and use Intralinks to facilitate the due diligence.