Circuit City puts DIVX patents up for sale, anyone in need of a failed disc format?

Circuit City's ill-fated video rental alternative, DIVX (not DivX), went belly up over a decade ago but just like Nortel, now that its parent company is belly-up its patents may still have some value. In case you've forgotten, the DIVX scheme offered discs similar to DVDs that were initially viewable for 48 hours, but could be activated for more time over a phone line. Now, the Circuit City Stores Inc. Liquidating Trust has entered into an agreement to sell the remaining patents to Imaging Transfer Co., but not before opening the sale to others in an auction, scheduled to take place August 16th. We're not sure what can be done with a bundle of patents covering compression, watermarking and other digital media technologies, but if you do and have more than $750k to offer, you'll want to contact Streambank LLC right away.

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NEEDHAM, Mass., July 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Circuit City Stores Inc. Liquidating Trust has entered into an agreement to sell its remaining patent portfolio to Imaging Transfer Co. LLC for a cash purchase price of $750,000. The sale is subject to higher and better offers. Streambank LLC has been engaged by the Trust to conduct the sale process. Competitive bids are due by August 12th and an auction will be held on August 16th. A motion is being filed with the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia seeking entry of an order granting the sale free and clear status.

The portfolio consists primarily of patents developed in connection with Circuit City's former Digital Video Express (a/k/a DIVX) initiative. The portfolio consists of 22 U.S. patents and patent applications as well as multiple related foreign patents.

Circuit City launched Digital Video Express in the late 1990's to develop an internet based, direct to home video rental solution that eliminated late fees for consumers and protected digital content. Although the DIVX system is no longer available, the technology developed by DIVX remains relevant to the areas of compression, distribution, security, usage tracking of movie content, anti-piracy, digital media and watermarking.

"These patents were developed by Circuit City in order to leapfrog the traditional video rental process. Although Circuit City was not able to capitalize on its inventions, the video distribution model it envisioned has become the mainstream," said Gabe Fried, Managing Principal of Streambank. "Patents such as those developed by Circuit City play a central role in the evolving dynamic of technology companies creating digital delivery solutions as evidenced by the recent sale by Nortel of its patent portfolio for $4.5 Billion."

The Nortel patents were sold through a chapter 11 bankruptcy sale to a consortium that included Apple, Microsoft and RIM, who outbid Google, the stalking horse bidder at $900 Million.

Information concerning the sale process can be obtained by contacting Jack Hazan at or Gabe Fried at, or by calling Streambank at: 781-444-4940.

About Streambank

Streambank is an advisory firm, specializing in the valuation, marketing, and sales of intangible assets for businesses at all stages. Streambank identifies, preserves, and extracts value for clients through the application of experience, diligence and creativity. The firm's recent experience includes Anchor Blue Holdings, Robb & Stucky Furniture, Movie Gallery, Circuit City Stores, KB Toys and other notable brands and related intellectual property. Additionally, Streambank provides intangible asset valuation services to stakeholders in a variety of contexts including compliance and reporting, lending, and for the resolution of disputes. Streambank provides sound advice on value maximization strategies and liquidity options. Streambank is headquartered in Needham, MA and has offices in New York, NY.

SOURCE Streambank