Apple grows war chest, takes ownership of 1,024 Nortel patents

Apple grows war chest, takes ownership of 1,024 Nortel patents

Apple has reportedly received a transfer of 1,024 patents or patent applications from Rockstar Consortium, formerly Rockstar Bidco, a group of technology companies that bid on thousands of patents that had previously held by Nortel. Apple had been part of Rockstar Bidco, which bid against Google for the patents, and had access to the patents through that consortium. The transfer of patents to Apple’s ownership, however, could better position them in ongoing litigation. Owen Thomas of Business Insider reports:

Apple already had access to these patents, since it owns a large stake in Rockstar Consortium. That venture, formerly known as Rockstar Bidco, bid $4.5 billion, of which Apple provided $2.6 billion, on a collection of 4,000 patents sold by Nortel. Microsoft, Sony, Ericsson, and RIM also backed Rockstar, which beat out Google in the bidding for the patent collection.

Even as Apple has settled with HTC and may be prepared to settle at least part of their case against Motorola Mobility, and won $1 billion verdict against Samsung in the U.S., a number of other, international cases, haven't gone Apple's way.

So, while the contents of these patents is unknown, except that they deal primarily with mobile technology, they could help solidify Apple's current and future litigation.

With Samsung is reportedly unwilling to settle at this point, having already reaped the rewards of what Apple considers their "copyist" behavior, perhaps Nortel's patents could help change their minds?

It’s possible that, with the acquisition of these patents, Apple will have enough leverage to get Samsung to settle at least some of the outstanding lawsuits between the companies, and the mobile world can enjoy even a little bit of rest after a long, drawn-out patent conflict.

Source: Business Insider

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Joseph Keller

News Writer for Mobile Nations. Fascinated by the ways that technology connects us.

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Reader comments

Apple grows war chest, takes ownership of 1,024 Nortel patents


Excited to see what the future holds for Apple. Also can't stop wondering what changes Jony Ive and others will make to iOS

This is just more bad news for the industry as a whole. More proof that Apple's whole business strategy is patent trolling and litigation.

Apple doesn't patent trolling unless you've decided that patent trolling is now under a new definition (hint: apple actually uses their patents)

Obsidian71, name an Apple-born hardware patent that they've used lately that's actual technology. P.S. Rounded corners don't count.

@ moRon Moris.... patent trolling and litigation... that's the strategy of your bellowed Googlorolla ... DUDE... APPLE invest in the patents just to protect them self from such trolls !!!

The patents are useless, if they're only going to be used for litigation. Period. It would be nice if Apple decided to use the patents as leverage to reach some sort of settlement with Samsung and Motorola. The patent litigation has to stop, from both sides. Samsung and Motorola aren't saints, either. But, one side has to be the bigger "person."

You have no idea what Apple will use the patents for. And the purchase was a collective that included Google. Also, how is a patent purchase considered "litigation"? Really, what are you talking about?

You're right, I don't know what the patents will be used for, and neither do you. I did use the word "if." A patent purchase isn't considered litigation; I was merely stating that it would be pointless to purchase the patents specifically to use in litigation. No one would benefit from such usage. I apologize if you think I'm attacking Apple or iOS. I hope that Apple uses the patents to innovate. Hell, if they do a good enough job, I may purchase the next iPhone.

I have felt for some time that the speed of innovation has slowed for two primary reasons. (1) Markey Maturation. Any "new" market is filled with quick innovation at first, and that innovation slows once you reach a certain point. (2) All this litigation (including that not involving Apple). I think once the Moto Mobility cases are resolved/settled, and Samsung and Apple finally finish their litigation, we will see things pick up some speed again.

Look at the other company that was also attempting to purchase said patents. Apple is just the one who won that battle. Perhaps they are only trying to defend themselves against others attacking their business plan. Any company that wants a future in this cut throat market had better have a thick skin and be prepared to earn their spot as king of the hill.