Business Case Studies, Marketing Strategies / Strategic Marketing Case Study, Ampex Turnaround, using patent licensing

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Case Title:

Ampex: Turnaround using patent licensing

Publication Year : 2005

Authors: Rekha Ravindran & Bindu Kannan

Industry: Engineering, Electrical and Electronics


Case Code: MKS0057B

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Ampex Corporation (Ampex), was one of the earliest visual technology innovators of the US. The company got into a financial crisis towards the early years of 21st century. To come out of it, it banked on its strong licensing division and started filing complaints with International Trade Commission (ITC). It filed law suits against technology giants like Sony, who used Ampex patents. It generated huge millions of dollars from these giants, on account of patent licensing and royalty income and managed to stage a turnaround using the revenues from the same. However, industry experts wondered as to how long Ampex would be able to thrive only on the income from patent licensing and royalty.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss the turn around of a company using its patents
  • To discuss the different kinds of patents and its licensing implications in the US
  • To discuss the fall of AMPEX nevertheless having so many patents and its future
  • To discuss the ethicality of AMPEX turning to patent royalty when the company faced problem.

Keywords : Ampex, Patent and Patent rights, Patent licensing, Royalty income, USPTO, International Trade Commission, Stock value, Sony, Samsung, Canon, Marketing Strategies Case Study, Eastman Kodak, Patent terrorist/patent troll; Wal-Mart pharmacy, Next Estate Communications


  • Patents and patent licensing - Background note
  • Ampex - A Brief Profile
  • Turn around of Ampex using patent licensing
  • Future Outlook

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