This is a unique opportunity to purchase the extensive Secure Electrans (“SE”) patent portfolio protecting “industry-first” solutions for secure smart meter payments, advanced smart meter supplier switching and secure remote payment technologies including geo-location. The patent portfolio features granted patents and patent applications with international coverage (including granted US and European patents). The large scale roll-out of smart metering in the UK and across Europe presents a hugely lucrative opportunity for a buyer of the SE patents including patent licensing and infringement litigation options.
IP Asset Highlights
- Global Market Opportunity
- Innovative “industry first” Smart Metering System
- International Patent Families
- Compatible with Cross-Border Regulatory Requirements
- Market Leading Patent Technology
- Alternative, Secondary and Supplementary Applications to Generate Numerous Revenue Streams
- Patent Licensing Opportunities
- Patent Infringement/Violation Opportunities
Difficulties in obtaining further funding for the business resulted in the directors appointing Leonard Curtis as Administrators over the business and affairs of SE in March 2014. On 14 April 2014, the chattel assets, domain names and trademarks relating to SE were acquired by a third party following a marketing campaign and negotiated sale process.
Secure Electrans Limited was originally established in the UK in 1999 to address the growing need for secure payment processing technology in the utilities sector. The company transitioned into an innovative payment technology company developing and patenting smart metering technology, attracting approximately £14 million of investment. Smart meters are the next generation of utility meter recording for both the domestic and commercial sectors and offer a range of intelligent functions to benefit the consumer;
- Provision of accurate ‘real-time’ data in relation to the amount of energy being used
- Communicate directly with energy supplier
- Better management of energy use, bills and emissions control
- Easier switching for best market deals
Smart meters interface using mobile phone type digital signals to send meter readings from device in-home to and from the energy suppliers. SE worked closely with the utilities market sector and has been an active contributor to smart meter standards/specifications which have been mandated by the European Union and are at roll-out stage in the UK and other European countries. SE pursued a potentially lucrative collaborative licensing strategy in relation to its patents.
SE patents were valued at approximately £1 billion by PricewaterhouseCoopers ten years ago. SE’s UK licensing model was based on proposed royalties of £7 per smart meter device and £0.10 per payment transaction following consultation with utility service providers.
It is forecasted that approximately 53,000,000 energy meters will be replaced by smart meters by 2020, as a result of UK government initiatives and legislation in this sector regulated by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (www.energysavingtrust.org.uk Smart Meter Roll Out). At that point, 12,000,000 transactions weekly are estimated to be processed via smart meters. SE estimated that meter replacement would potentially attract approximately £420,000,000 in initial licensing revenue for the patent holder and anticipated transaction income would be £1,200,000 per week, or £60,000,000 per annum for the UK alone.
The gas and electricity Directives of the EU’s Third Energy Package, adopted in 2009, require member states to prepare a timetable for the introduction of intelligent metering systems. And the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, adopted the same year, requires them to develop national plans to install smart meters.
In the case of electricity, at least 80% of customers should be equipped with smart meters by 2020, pending a cost-assessment study. Eurelectric, the industry association for European utilities, recently published a study estimating that this market could be worth €30 billion yearly to the EU economy by 2030 (www.euractiv.com Smart Meter Roll Out).
The large scale roll-out of smart metering is likely to and has already led to infringement and violations of SE’s patents. Worldwide licensing or infringement actions could lead to significant revenue for a buyer of the patents. SE considers that most, if not all, meter manufacturers, utilities companies and settlement infrastructure providers globally are likely to be in violation of its patents.
Patent Portfolio Summary
Providing Patented Technology for Secure Online Card not Present Transactions, Management and Transmission of Payment / Energy Data from the Home, consisting of 32 granted patents and 10 pending applications in International Territories (Including US). There are 11 core patents, each with multiple innovations as follows:
- Core UK Patent (2000) Utility Metering System – Patent expires in 2021
- European Patent (2012) Utility Metering System – Patent expires in 2021
- Non-EU Extensions Utility Metering System – South Africa, Canada and Japan patents granted, USA approval awaiting issue
- Core UK Patent (2000) Prepayment Utility Meter – Granted 2002
- Core UK Patent (2000) Energy Supply System – Granted 2002
- UK Patent Pending Energy Supply Control System (UK 2010) – Granted
- UK Patent Pending (2009) Network Termination Unit – Pending
- European Patent Pending (2010) Data Authentication System – Pending. Focused on location-based identification
- USA Patent Pending (2010) Data Authentication System – Pending. Focused on location-based identification
- European Patent Pending (2011) Mobile Payment Device – Pending. Focused on location-based identification
- USA (2011) Mobile Payment Device – Pending. Focused on location-based identification
All offers/notes of interest or requests for more information should be directed to Nat Baldwin.