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Apple predicted to 'strike back' at Google with its own patent purchase

post #1 of 58
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Following Google's bid to purchase Motorola Mobility, Apple is predicted to strike a deal -- perhaps with competitors Nokia or RIM -- to consolidate its already significant patent portfolio and better position itself both offensively and defensively.

In a note to investors on Tuesday, Jeffries & Co. analyst Peter Misek concluded that Apple is likely to "strike back" by acquiring patents from rivals such as Nokia or Research in Motion as a response to Googles purchase of Motorola Mobility. He also mentioned InterDigital, which has been widely viewed as a potential target for acquisition by Apple and other major players in the smartphone industry.

Misek identified what he considers 500 "essential 3G and 4G patents" that are part of Motorolas significant patent portfolio. Based on the price Google paid for Motorola, he values each of these at $20 million, given the fact that they could be used by Google not only to defend Android against potential attacks from Apple, but also to counterattack the Cupertino-based company and other rivals in the future.

Apple is currently involved in various lawsuits both in the U.S. and internationally with some of its most important competitors in the mobile business. Apple has either sued, been sued, or both, companies like HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Nokia and Kodak over alleged intellectual property infringement. Such patent-based wars are likely to continue even after Google would complete its Motorola acquisition.

Misek analyzed the patent portfolios still in play from Nokia, RIM or InterDigital and concluded that any of them could be an important target for Apple in the future. Apple is currently sitting on impressive cash reserves, totaling $76.2 billion.

The analyst believes that Apple is in a position that would allow it to bid for any of the patents owned by it rivals. He believes Apple will focus specifically on "wireless patents that are truly essential and part of the standards."

Apple may already be paying Nokia "significant royalties for cross-licensing," Misek said, adding that the Finnish handset maker owns "at least 50 essential 4G patents and likely over 100 essential 3G patents" of interest." Another potential target, RIM, is said to have spent over $5 billion in developing its own patent portfolio with InterDigital also on the analysts list as a potentially interesting purchase for Apple.



Despite Jeffries note to investors, there have been no actual indications from Apple that the Cupertino-based company is actually going forward with such patent-buying plans. Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola, announced on Monday, is still pending regulatory approval.

Google's chief executive, Larry Page, candidly admitted that his company's purchase of Motorola was prompted by legal action from competitors -- namely Apple and Microsoft -- against the Android platform. Page said he believes the measures taken by Apple and Microsoft have been "anticompetitive," and ownership of Motorola's patents will better position the search giant to defend its mobile operating system from legal threats.
post #2 of 58
Give me a break. Does anyone seriously feel Apple doesn't already control enough IP to protect themselves from serious damage by other competitors? And they've already shown they have more than enough to wage war against anyone they choose.

But instead some talking head thinks the proper response is to ratchet things up a couple more notches.
Idiot.
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post #3 of 58
I say they should buy RIM, they are a dead brand anyway. Plus they can use that to make a bigger impact in Enterprise. That could cause more companies to switch to Mac.
post #4 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by crisss1205 View Post

I say they should buy RIM, they are a dead brand anyway. Plus they can use that to make a bigger impact in Enterprise. That could cause more companies to switch to Mac.

that would make no sense.

Apple is not traditionally in enterprise space.

Furthermore, the iPhone is definitely not 'enterprise-ready' as security standards are not in place within iOS ecosystem.

Finally, RIM's clients would definitely take issue with that as well.
post #5 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by crisss1205 View Post

I say they should buy RIM, they are a dead brand anyway. Plus they can use that to make a bigger impact in Enterprise. That could cause more companies to switch to Mac.

I don't know what RiM has to offer Apple moving forward. I can see Nokia as being much more important which would be funny since MS needs them to try to make WP7 relevant.

Qualcomm would be killer buy but I doubt that will happen. Since I'm no longer an AAPL stock holder (sold at 400) I do hope they buy something major that drops their stock significantly so I can buy back in.
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post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by droideggs View Post

that would make no sense.

Apple is not traditionally in enterprise space.

Furthermore, the iPhone is definitely not 'enterprise-ready' as security standards are not in place within iOS ecosystem.

Finally, RIM's clients would definitely take issue with that as well.

You're right, they do fall behind in enterprise, which would make a purchase of RIM, integrating top-notch user experience in iOS with industry-leading security of RIM possibly the smartest purchase anyone has ever done in the history of business.
post #7 of 58
. . . to the tune of John Williams' overture from The Empire Strikes Back.
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post #8 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by droideggs View Post

that would make no sense.

Apple is not traditionally in enterprise space.

Furthermore, the iPhone is definitely not 'enterprise-ready' as security standards are not in place within iOS ecosystem.

Finally, RIM's clients would definitely take issue with that as well.

What security standards would you be speaking of?
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post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by droideggs View Post

that would make no sense.

Apple is not traditionally in enterprise space.

Furthermore, the iPhone is definitely not 'enterprise-ready' as security standards are not in place within iOS ecosystem.

Finally, RIM's clients would definitely take issue with that as well.

Sorry, but RIM's clients? Do they even have any more of those? For how much longer?
post #10 of 58
Yeah, won't happen. I'd stake your life on it.
post #11 of 58
The more Apple's cash pile grows the more I can't help feel that Steve has his eye on something really big.

Of course, he could just like the feeling he gets from the thought of such a huge pile of cash...
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post #12 of 58
They should buy ARM
post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

. . . to the tune of John Williams' overture from The Empire Strikes Back.

They will join us or die.


Good. Good.
post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Give me a break. Does anyone seriously feel Apple doesn't already control enough IP to protect themselves from serious damage by other competitors? And they've already shown they have more than enough to wage war against anyone they choose.

But instead some talking head thinks the proper response is to ratchet things up a couple more notches.
Idiot.

HTC has patents like these:

Quote:

The patents at issue cover a range of functionality embodied in Apple's Mac computer and mobile devices that are essential to user experience, including: 1) Wi-Fi capability that allows users to wirelessly network multiple devices at home, at work, or in public, and 2) processor communication technology that enables a seamless integration of a PDA and a cellular phone into a single device providing users with a true smartphone experience. The patents at issue are U.S. Patent Nos. 7,417,944, and 7,672,219 and 7,765,414.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/16/h...#disqus_thread

That patent is the very basic foundation of what a "smartphone" is.

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post #15 of 58
Tivo seems like a perfect company for Apple to purchase. They have great set-top boxes and the best system of menus of any DVR company. This would be a good counter to the Google TV/Moto Mobility pairing. The phone and tablet conflict should take care of itself. Some manufacturers will turn to Microsoft and Android is still too much of a copy of iOS to survive without serious patent challenge.
post #16 of 58
I think this would be a great pick up for Apple. Hopefully they can get a couple of other buyers to join in on the purchase.
post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

HTC has patents like these:



http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/16/h...#disqus_thread

That patent is the very basic foundation of what a "smartphone" is.

If it's that big an issue, they have the option of license or trade IP, since Apple is also suing HTC. But those on the receiving end of an Apple suit have no such choice unless they have IP that Apple considers valuable. A license is probably out of the question.

As I said earlier, there's plenty of firepower in Apple's guns already unless their goal is the complete elimination of all competition by employing the courts to do their work.
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post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by strask View Post

Tivo seems like a perfect company for Apple to purchase. They have great set-top boxes and the best system of menus of any DVR company. This would be a good counter to the Google TV/Moto Mobility pairing. The phone and tablet conflict should take care of itself. Some manufacturers will turn to Microsoft and Android is still too much of a copy of iOS to survive without serious patent challenge.

the problem isn't that Apple can't develop a nice menu system / UI. Look at AppleTV, it's great. The problem is nobody wants to buy a $300 set-top box when they can get one for free from the cable companies. TiVo shares that problem with Apple, so how would buying TiVo help anything?
post #19 of 58
Things are just getting started. Sure, there are feathers flying over communication technology patents right now. But Apple has learned the hard way to protect intellectual property is has acquired or developed on its own. The multi-touch GUI, for example.

Apple's suits against Samsung et al are just the first baby steps in that defense. And in due time, Apple will need to think about acquiring TV-related patent portfolios as well. That massive North Carolina iCloud data center probably isn't just for streaming your vacation videos and iTunes purchases. And Apple has acquired land across the street from it. To build a second data center just as large.

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post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

HTC has patents like these:



http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/16/h...#disqus_thread

That patent is the very basic foundation of what a "smartphone" is.

Go read the actual patents.
post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

the problem isn't that Apple can't develop a nice menu system / UI. Look at AppleTV, it's great. The problem is nobody wants to buy a $300 set-top box when they can get one for free from the cable companies. TiVo shares that problem with Apple, so how would buying TiVo help anything?

Last time I purchased an AppleTV or three; they were $99 each, not $300.
post #22 of 58
This guy is dumb. Why would Apple buy standard essential patents? Doing so would require Apple to license the patents at FRAND terms. Not a very effective strategy to stop Google.
post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by droideggs View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by crisss1205 View Post

I say they should buy RIM, they are a dead brand anyway. Plus they can use that to make a bigger impact in Enterprise. That could cause more companies to switch to Mac.

that would make no sense.

Apple is not traditionally in enterprise space.

Furthermore, the iPhone is definitely not 'enterprise-ready' as security standards are not in place within iOS ecosystem.

Finally, RIM's clients would definitely take issue with that as well.

Don't forget the Canadian government. If they wouldn't let BHP Billiton buy Potash of Saskatchewan, I don't think they will let Apple buy RIM.
post #24 of 58
Agreed. Further, probably two of the patents are wi-fi standard patents. If so, they have to be licensed under FRAND terms. Meaning they aren't a threat to Apple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

Go read the actual patents.
post #25 of 58
Ah, "strike back"??? What is this, a tabloid?

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post #26 of 58
I'd like to see Apple acquire Eastman Kodak, keep the IP portfolio and sell off the rest.
post #27 of 58
lol @ "Strike Back" at Google...when has Google done any patent based Striking towards Apple?

Should read "With Google now probably in control of Motorola's patent portfolio Apple should purchase interdigital so they can continue their anti-competitive ways."
post #28 of 58
I want to see Apple do this just so we can read another official Google blog post about how Apple's partnership with RIM/Nokia is anti-competitive, unlike their purchase of MMI, which was the greatest boon to competitivesness the mobile world has ever seen.
post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

lol @ "Strike Back" at Google...when has Google done any patent based Striking towards Apple?

Should read "With Google now probably in control of Motorola's patent portfolio Apple should purchase interdigital so they can continue their anti-competitive ways."

This is a fine start

Its not an official Google blog post, but since this is only a rumor yet, I will settle for hypocritical fandroid rants.
post #30 of 58
"This makes excellent sense for us" said Larry Page. "No longer do we have to pay for any IP, we can just pinch all the ideas we want, pass our own laws, and nobody can touch us. Seems like a plan to me."
post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Following Google's bid to purchase Motorola Mobility, Apple is predicted to strike a deal -- perhaps with competitors Nokia or RIM -- to consolidate its already significant patent portfolio and better position itself both offensively and defensively.

In a note to investors on Tuesday, Jeffries & Co. analyst Peter Misek concluded that Apple is likely to
Google's chief executive, Larry Page, candidly admitted that his company's purchase of Motorola was prompted by legal action from competitors -- namely Apple and Microsoft -- against the Android platform. Page said he believes the measures taken by Apple and Microsoft have been "anticompetitive," and ownership of Motorola's patents will better position the search giant to defend its mobile operating system from legal threats.

Larry must be stoned.
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

You're right, they do fall behind in enterprise, which would make a purchase of RIM, integrating top-notch user experience in iOS with industry-leading security of RIM possibly the smartest purchase anyone has ever done in the history of business.

No. This is actually an absolutely blooming ridiculous idea.

RIM is dead. They have no technology worth buying. They have no retail presence. They have no new ideas. They have no software expertise. They have no engineers or designers worth stealing. They are mostly older guys stuck in the 90's. It would be a really, really *bad* fit for Apple to buy RIM and RIM has nothing that Apple wants or needs.

That tired old crap about how they have "contacts" or "inroads" into the Enterprise is just business double-speak. It never meant anything in the past and it doesn't mean anything now. It's just the crap they say at meetings so everyone feels like they won't be stabbed in the back at the first opportunity. Anyone who believes it is a fool.

Apple could make more inroads into the Enterprise overnight (assuming they wanted to), by making a better product than they could buying RIM. If someone comes along with a better product, no company is going to stick with the old worse product out of "loyalty" or some such. That's purest fantasy.

RIM has hooks into the enterprise because of their successful product, but now their product is failing. When it fails, those business will switch to something else so fast it will make your head spin. The whole idea that there is some kind of loyalty in the business world and that all those companies are going to sit around and wait for RIM to come up with something modern is just one of those fantasies that people like to believe. Despite all the talk (and from the businessmen involved no less), you'd be hard pressed to find a real life example of almost any business actually working that way.

The only reason to buy them would be for the patents and even then, they aren't that old of a company. What patents could they possibly have that would make it worthwhile?
post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Don't forget the Canadian government. If they wouldn't let BHP Billiton buy Potash of Saskatchewan, I don't think they will let Apple buy RIM.

Yup. Google only bought moto because is the only us based phone manufacturer with any kind of presence in the industry. Samsung, htc, lg are all way out of reach both in terms of language, culture and regulatory approval ( no way any country would let of of their prized firms). So moto was the only choice, they took it and I hope they don't close it down or move it to Cali.

Edit: of course apple is us based also, but you get what I am saying.
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post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



Based on the price Google paid for Motorola, he values each of these at $20 million, given the fact that they could be used by Google not only to defend Android against potential attacks from Apple, but also to counterattack the Cupertino-based company and other rivals in the future.



This is nuts. All these huge corporations are stocking up with (the equivalent of) a nuclear arsenal. I sure hope that they opt for some sort of stable MAD situation. Otherwise, there will be a lot of wasted time and money.
post #35 of 58
This is an interesting comparison:

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=nokia%2Fapple

Nokia apparently has valuable patents and a distributed manufacturing base that could possibly (I don't know at what cost) be repurposed, such as:

http://www.nokia.co.in/about-nokia/c...uring-in-india

and in lower-cost European countries:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia

Nokia's market cap currently is a little less than Apple's net income! Interestingly, this is a little over 1/3 of its revenue of about US$60B, whereas Apple's market cap is three and a half times its US$100B revenue. Surely, given its manufacturing capability which is a tangible asset and possible door into a low-end market, its patent portfolio and its lowish market cap, Nokia is worth watching from Apple's perspective. \
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post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

This is nuts. All these huge corporations are stocking up with (the equivalent of) a nuclear arsenal. I sure hope that they opt for some sort of stable MAD situation. Otherwise, there will be a lot of wasted time and money.

Mutually Assured Bankruptcy.


Actually there is a big difference between patents and nuclear weapons. Governments can build more weapons whilst patents are in short supply. You can bet anyone with a decent portfolio is now thinking how much can they get for it. And if a block of patents does come on the market, can Google or Apple afford to let the other company get them? I'm predicting lots of very high priced sales of patents in the near future.
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

No. This is actually an absolutely blooming ridiculous idea.

RIM is dead. They have no technology worth buying. They have no retail presence. They have no new ideas. They have no software expertise. They have no engineers or designers worth stealing. They are mostly older guys stuck in the 90's. It would be a really, really *bad* fit for Apple to buy RIM and RIM has nothing that Apple wants or needs.

That tired old crap about how they have "contacts" or "inroads" into the Enterprise is just business double-speak. It never meant anything in the past and it doesn't mean anything now. It's just the crap they say at meetings so everyone feels like they won't be stabbed in the back at the first opportunity. Anyone who believes it is a fool.

Apple could make more inroads into the Enterprise overnight (assuming they wanted to), by making a better product than they could buying RIM. If someone comes along with a better product, no company is going to stick with the old worse product out of "loyalty" or some such. That's purest fantasy.

RIM has hooks into the enterprise because of their successful product, but now their product is failing. When it fails, those business will switch to something else so fast it will make your head spin. The whole idea that there is some kind of loyalty in the business world and that all those companies are going to sit around and wait for RIM to come up with something modern is just one of those fantasies that people like to believe. Despite all the talk (and from the businessmen involved no less), you'd be hard pressed to find a real life example of almost any business actually working that way.

The only reason to buy them would be for the patents and even then, they aren't that old of a company. What patents could they possibly have that would make it worthwhile?

I disagree with enterprise being double-speak. I work with some people at the Perimeter Institute (a theoretical physics research facility in Waterloo founded and funded by RIM), and they issue all employees a BlackBerry. From what I've learned, they don't do this because that's where the funding comes from (they actually switched to Google Apps for their email), but because BlackBerry's enterprise capability really is top-notch.

Though as some other people have mentioned, the Canadian government would block a purchase of RIM by an American company faster than... well I was going to reference some really good goalie, but ironically I don't follow hockey. Anyway, wouldn't happen, no matter how good it would be for RIM.
post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

Nokia's market cap currently is a little less than Apple's net income! Interestingly, this is a little over 1/3 of its revenue of about US$60B, whereas Apple's market cap is three and a half times its US$100B revenue. Surely, given its manufacturing capability which is a tangible asset and possible door into a low-end market, its patent portfolio and its lowish market cap, Nokia is worth watching from Apple's perspective. \

Microsoft needs Nokia so I imagine any attempt on Apple's part would be met by Microsoft overpaying for Nokia.
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by leesmith View Post

I'd like to see Apple acquire Eastman Kodak, keep the IP portfolio and sell off the rest.

I'd like to see Apple buy Adobe... and dismantle it.
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post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Microsoft needs Nokia so I imagine any attempt on Apple's part would be met by Microsoft overpaying for Nokia.

The Finnish government and the whole of the Finnish population would step in - there'd be riots on the streets of Helsinki!

Still, all good fun!
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