New York — RadioShack’s intellectual assets, including its trademarks, online domains, patent applications, franchised dealer relationships and, controversially, its customer database, will be put up for auction next month.
According to liquidator Hilco Streambank, which was retained by RadioShack to assist in the bankruptcy court-sanctioned sale, the proposed deadline for bids is May 6, to be followed by an auction here on May 11.
Up for grabs are:
* the retailer’s e-commerce platform and 295 registered domains, including RadioShack.com, TheShack.com and Tandy.com;
* 73 active and pending patent applications, ostensibly covering its private-label product assortment;
* its private-label brands, including Realistic, Enercell, Gigaware and Auvio;
* its global sourcing operation, including proprietary R&D capabilities and Asian infrastructure;
* franchise arrangements with 900 domestic and 42 foreign dealers; and
* the RadioShack trademark.
New store-operator Standard General has a six-month grace period to use the brand royalty free, although top creditor Salus Capital Partners – which lost its bid to liquidate the chain and recoup its $150 million in loans – has first dibs on the RadioShack name.
Perhaps as a precaution, the brand has begun assuming a secondary position beneath the Sprint name in some 1,440 stores that Standard General is operating in partnership with the carrier.
Also on the auction block will be a customer database that includes over 8.5 million opt-in email addresses.
Still unclear is the fate of files containing some 65 million customer names and physical addresses. At least three states’ attorneys general and AT&T have moved to block the sale of the personal information, citing the retailer’s in-store and online pledges to keep it private, plus proprietary details on the carrier’s subscribers and its 10-year-long agreement with RadioShack.
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