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Intellectual Ventures Signs with Thales Alenia Space

Thales Alenia Space announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a significant patent portfolio describing hundreds of inventions related to satellites communication systems, as well as additional patent rights, from Intellectual Ventures™.

With this acquisition, Thales Alenia Space will have access to the intellectual property rights required to build the Iridium NEXT constellation of satellites, under contract recently awarded by Iridium Communications Inc. Iridum is also receiving a license to the inventions required for the other parts of the Iridium NEXT communication system.

The majority of these inventions were created by Motorola engineers during the original design of the Iridium satellite constellation, a network of 66 low-Earth orbit (LEO) cross-linked satellites that provide critical voice and data services for areas not served by terrestrial communication network.  Iridium is the only mobile satellite service company offering coverage over the entire globe. Additional patent rights from other ambitious R&D programs are also included in this acquisition.

 “By acquiring and aggregating one of the industry largest set of top quality satellites inventions, we have now provided a leading industrial company with additional IP assets,” commented Vincent Pluvinage, General Manager for Strategic Acquisitions and Private Equity at Intellectual Ventures. “Providing liquidity to inventors and access to strategic IP assets to companies is part of our mission.”

“With this acquisition, Thales Alenia Space takes another step forward in the constellation startup process,” said Marc Borello, General Counsel at Thales Alenia Space. “Our strategy is to deliver products that give our customers the best combination of performance, cost and lead-times.”

About Intellectual Ventures

Founded in 2000, Intellectual Ventures (IV) is the global leader in the business of invention. IV collaborates with leading inventors, partners with pioneering companies and invests both expertise and capital in the process of invention. IV’s mission is to energize and streamline an invention economy that will drive innovation around the world.

About Thales Alenia Space

European leader in satellite systems and a major player in orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio embody the two groups’ “Space Alliance”. Thales Alenia Space sets the global standard in solutions for space telecoms, radar and optical Earth observation, defense and security, navigation and science. The company, which achieved revenues of Euro 2 billion in 2009, has a total of 7,200 employees located in 11 industrial sites in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

For further information, contact:

Thales Alenia Space Press Contacts
Florence Pontieux  Tel: +33 (0)1 57 77 91 26;
Sandrine Bielecki Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94;

Intellectual Ventures
For press inquiries, please contact For all other inquiries, please contact or follow IV on Twitter at @IVinvents.


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