xG Technology Shows How to Value Patents

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xG Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: XGTI) saw a major surge in its value and share price on Thursday due to patent news. The news looks like a win, but how do you value a patent of this sort when the company has so many other patents as well?

xG Tech announced Thursday morning that it has been awarded a new patent for interference mitigation techniques. This is the company’s second new patent grant announced this week alone, and the prior patent win was a cognitive radio patent award enabling enhanced interference mitigation for devices in shared spectrum.

This new patent is named “OFDM Symbol Diversity Combiner for Burst Interference Mitigation.” It is said to cover a method of diversity combining that operates on individual OFDM symbols, allowing efficient mitigation of burst interference typical to many devices operating on unlicensed bands. In short, it is a diversity combiner that operates as a maximal ratio combiner or selection combiner, depending on operation conditions.

Specifically, this is another effort targeting broadband communications patents. With this patent award, xG Technology’s intellectual property portfolio now stands at 60 U.S. patent matters (51 issued) and 145 international patent matters (65 issued).

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xG Technology shares were up 36% at $2.32 in early afternoon trading. The 52-week range is $1.12 to $9.00. Even after this gain by mid-day, xG’s market cap is still just under $44 million. Keep in mind that the company’s entire revenue stream in 2013 was a mere $406,000, and its net loss attributable to its shareholders was $27.4 million.

So, how much is one patent really worth? The company said:

Interference is a major impediment to reliable and efficient wireless transmissions, and can negatively impact performance and coverage in high-capacity mobile systems. While interference has been an issue in unlicensed spectrum bands for years, mobile carriers are now also experiencing unprecedented levels of interference in their licensed spectrum-based mobile networks, due to skyrocketing demand for mobile data. This latest xG innovation describes advanced techniques for detecting and reducing unwanted transmissions that lead to harmful interference, thus improving system performance.