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Lycos Internet puts up its technology patents for sale

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Digital marketing solutions company Lycos Internet (formerly Ybrant Digital) has put up for sale a number of patents it holds across segments like search engine technology, online advertising and online gaming among others. Intellectual Property consultation initiative Propeller(y) is helping Lycos Internet make its IP portfolio available to the industry for acquisition or licensing. The company also mentioned that it is readying to launch a suite of hard good products in the coming weeks.

Lycos also mentioned that the decision to focus on its IP portfolio was not an attempt to gain entitlement for IP external innovation, but essentially to create a more collaborative relationship with partners and the industry. Apparently, some of the patents held by Lycos have forwards citations in the hundreds and all of them describe technologies that are critically relevant for the online and mobile industries. These also have applications in emerging fields such as Internet of Things.

In September last year, Ybrant Digital had informed that it intended to consolidate all its media properties and rename the company as Lycos Internet limited. This new entity now has two divisions: Lycos Media, which includes the company’s network of community and social sites, and Ybrant Digital, which looks after the company’s digital marketing business. The company received approval (pdf) for this rebranding from its shareholders and the Registrar of Companies (RoC) in October 2014. Note that Ybrant had acquired Lycos from Korea’s Daum Communications for $36 million in an all-cash deal back in August 2010.

Lycos had been founded in 1994 as a search engine and web portal by Michael Loren Mauldin. It was to go to search engine when no one had heard of Google and Bing was still in its diapers. Yahoo and AltaVista were its contemporaries. It’s also believed to be one of the first companies to implement spidered web indexing. Lycos was one of the top web-based companies during the 1990s and made several acquisitions, including web hosting service Tripod, gaming portal Gamesville, Wired Digital (which was later sold to Wired), and online dating service Matchmaker.com (later sold to Date.com) among others. Eventually, the internet arm of the Spanish telco Telefonica, Terra Networks had acquired Lycos in 2000 for $12.5 billion. However the dotcom bubble burst soon after and in 2004 Lycos was sold to Seol-based Daum Communications for $95.4 million.

Lycos Internet financials: The company had reported digital marketing revenues of Rs 493.09 crores for the quarter ended December 31, 2014, registering a significant growth of 43.12% from Rs 344.53 crore last quarter and an increase of 38.74 percent year-on-year (YoY). However, revenues from the software development business continues to slide for Lycos, with the segment reporting revenues of Rs 102.58 crore for the quarter, down 11.31% from Rs 115.66 crore in the last quarter and a decrease of 4.11% from the corresponding quarter last year.

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Also Read: Digital India & Make in India: Form a patent pool of critical mobile technologies – CIS India

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