Amway Ditching High Tech

Alticor, the parent company of Amway, is selling the intellectual property rights to eCoupled wireless technology, just as this technology is about to change wireless power across the globe.

Developed by Alticor’s subsidiary Fulton Innovation, eCoupled technology uses a magnetic field to enable products from appliances to handheld devices to be charged without a cord or contact with the power source. Called inductive coupling, the process can heat a pan on a countertop without the counter itself ever heating up. The power source essentially communicates wirelessly with the pan.

The technology has its roots in the Amway eSpring water filter, which was developed and refined for use in everything from cars to electronics. Amway plans to retain licensing to intellectual property used in eSpring products, which is among the existing agreements to be honored in the eventual purchase agreement, according to Alticor.

The eCoupled technology is one of 240 patents worldwide for Fulton Innovation technology, and another 480 patents are pending. The Alticor subsidiary is also a major player in establishing the global standard in wireless power (Qi). Although Jim Weaver, Alticor vice president, anticipates selling the entire portfolio, splitting up the properties is not off the table.

So why sell the rights to such powerful innovations?

Weaver notes that the licensing strategy has always been in the game plan. Alticor planned to sell the rights once the technology reached the point where it could be practically applied and mass produced, which a company with a more technologically focused mission and marketing strategy could do better.

“Alticor’s primary focus is offering business opportunity in the health, wellness, and beauty industries,” he explains. “We are seeking a buyer that is well-positioned to accelerate adoption of wireless power and to maximize the potential of eCoupled intellectual property.”

The entire process has been transparent, a reflection on the corporate values of openness and honesty. The employees whose jobs are affected by the sale will be transitioned within the company.

In addition to Fulton and Amway, Alticor is the parent company for Access Business Group LLC, which essentially serves the development, manufacturing, and supply needs of Amway and Alticor. Even with more than 20,000 worldwide employees, Alticor’s success ultimately rests on MLM entrepreneurs all over the globe who distribute for Amway, the largest network marketing company in the world and the primary source of Alticor’s nearly $11 billion annual revenue.

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