OCZ's power supply arm acquired

February 11, 2014 | 11:34

Tags: #delaware #patent #patent-troll

Companies: #ocz #ocz-storage-solutions #ocz-technologies #toshiba

The power supply division of bankrupt OCZ Technologies, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toshiba known as OCZ Storage Solutions, has been acquired from liquidators by Firepower Technology.

Although the bulk of OCZ Technologies was sold to Toshiba in a $35 million deal, the company didn't want everything - just the storage division. As a result, liquidator ZCO Liquidating Corporation - read the letters backwards - was forced to find buyers for other parts of the company, including its power supply arm.

In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed by ZCO late last night, the liquidator confirmed that a buyer had been found for the latter: Firepower Technology, which has paid $850,000 for the technologies, assets and patents of OCZ's power supply division.

What isn't yet clear is exactly who Firepower actually is. There's certainly no record of a PSU manufacturer with that name, and the company itself was only incorporated in January this year. There's a further warning sign in ZCO's SEC filing, where the outfit is described as 'Firepower Technology, Inc., a Delaware corporation.' Those with an eye for patent law will be aware that Delaware is notorious for ruling more cases in favour of patent holders - in particular those non-practising corporations known as 'patent trolls' - than any other area of the US bar East Texas, as evidenced by this Washington Post analysis.

So, it seems likely that Firepower Technology is little more than a front for another company, and one with a particular view to using patents obtained from OCZ's power supply arm aggressively rather than defensively. While it's possible that Firepower is owned by a manufacturer who may want to continue building power supplies based on OCZ's designs, the evidence points to an ignominious death for OCZ PSUs at the hands of a patent troll.
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