Magink Display Technologies, an Israeli company that was an early pioneer of “e-ink” displays, is no more: the company has put its patents up for sale in a bidding process that will conclude on July 31, according to industry blog Dailydooh. IP transactions and advisory firm Marqera, LLC is handling the patent sale; Dailydooh has posted the patent portfolio offering here.
Although Magink’s Web site is still up and running, the patent sale apparently signals the demise of the company, which made some headway in Europe but struggled to penetrate the U.S market. Its first and last big win in this country was in June 2009, when Lamar Advertising Co. tapped Magink for a billboard installation in the Bronx.
To create an image with Magink, an electrical charge is sent to a billboard covered with helix-shaped organic molecules, or in technical parlance, a “encapsulated cholesteric liquid crystal material.” The helix-shaped molecules rearrange themselves in different shapes following the distribution of the electrical charge. After the image is formed, no more energy is required to keep it in place, unlike LED billboards, which require a continuous source of power. On average, Magink displays are 50% to 75% more efficient than LED billboards, according to the offering.