AT&T Laboratories in Cambridge has closed after 16 years. The company decided at the end of last year to sell the labs as part of a series of cost-cutting measures. But a suitable buyer could not be found, largely because of a lack of agreement on how to split its considerable intellectual property rights.
The labs were founded in 1986 by Hermann Hauser and Prof Andy Hopper — their aim was to come up with "blue sky" ideas. Successful spin-outs include Virata.
A spokesman for the laboratories said: "It's very sad. This is a centre of excellence, renowned throughout the world. The people working here are the best in the world, and the environment is unique, very creative and dynamic."
The closure has made 50 scientists redundant.