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Apple quietly acquiring former Nortel patents from Rockstar Consortium

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
An announcement on Tuesday from a Korean property rights regulator revealed that Apple has taken control of 1,024 patents and patent applications from the Rockstar Consortium, a bidding group led by the Cupertino company that won an auction for a package of Nortel patents in 2011.

Rockstar Consortium Logo


First reported by Korean language publication Yonhap News (via Business Insider), the recent transaction shined a light on Rockstar's transfer of more than 1,350 patents over the past six months, almost all of which went to Apple.

As a major contributor to the Rockstar Consortium, formerly called Rockstar Bidco, Apple already had access to the pool of about 4,000 former Nortel patents, but it appears that the company wants full rights to the IP. Business Insider speculated that the move is closely tied to Apple's ongoing global patent wars with wireless handset rivals like Samsung, as full rights allow the company to wield the properties offensively.

In August 2011, the Apple-led Rockstar put up $4.5 billion to outbid a Google-backed group of companies for a batch of Nortel patents. Apple put up $2.6 billion, while Rockstar's other industry heavyweights Microsoft, Sony, Ericsson, and RIM contributed to make the final total.

It is not known how many of the patents Apple has been collecting over the past months are related to wireless technologies.
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In August 2011, the Apple-led Rockstar put up $4.5 billion to outbid a Google-backed group of companies for a batch of Nortel patents. Apple put up $2.6 billion, while Rockstar's other industry heavyweights Microsoft, Sony, Ericsson, and RIM contributed to make the final total.
It is not known how many of the patents Apple has been collecting over the past months are related to wireless technologies.

 

Microsoft is the only one besides Apple that needed didn't need the liquid cash that Apple offered. Besides, their longevity in the phone market may be very short.

 

EDIT: I fixed the sentence that I totally cocked up, sorry for that.


Edited by Macky the Macky - 11/16/12 at 12:15am
post #3 of 13

"Besides, their longevity in the phone market may be very short."

 

Based on what?

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shameer Mulji View Post

"Besides, their longevity in the phone market may be very short."

 

Based on what?

 

 

Well what do you think it's based on?  It's been over 2 years now and consumers don't really give a sweet damn about anything to do with Windows phone. Nokia can't afford to continue the way they're going now. And it isn't like MS is raking in huge profits from Windows Phone. They aren't Apple and they lack Apple's cachet and ecosystem strength. They have also lost the universal licensing crown to Android. MS is neither here nor there in mobile. They're getting barely any return on all that investment. And in THIS market, at THIS time, you can no longer afford to wait forever until your product "catches on." They've got a non-perfomer on their hands. 

 

MS was totally unprepared for the sort of market dynamics ushered in by Apple. And they are *still* floundering about today. Nothing they're dong is compelling enough to warrant a major market shift in their direction in mobile. 

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

 

 

Well what do you think it's based on?  It's been over 2 years now and consumers don't really give a sweet damn about anything to do with Windows phone. Nokia can't afford to continue the way they're going now. And it isn't like MS is raking in huge profits from Windows Phone. They aren't Apple and they lack Apple's cachet and ecosystem strength. They have also lost the universal licensing crown to Android. MS is neither here nor there in mobile. They're getting barely any return on all that investment. And in THIS market, at THIS time, you can no longer afford to wait forever until your product "catches on." They've got a non-perfomer on their hands. 

 

MS was totally unprepared for the sort of market dynamics ushered in by Apple. And they are *still* floundering about today. Nothing they're dong is compelling enough to warrant a major market shift in their direction in mobile. 

It wasn't clear if by their, he was referring to just MS or both MS & Apple.  And I wasn't sure if he was referring to the reports saying that Android now has 75% marketshare in mobile phones.

 

For what it's worth, sales of Windows Phone 8 devices seem to be off to a decent start. Almost everywhere the Nokia Lumia 920 is going on sale it's selling out pretty quickly.  Of course there's no hard numbers but even the Lumia 900 didn't get off to that quick a start when it came out early this year.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

 

Microsoft is the only one besides Apple that needed the liquid cash that Apple offered.

What?

Apple needed the liquid cash (whatever that is) that Apple offered?

post #7 of 13

Apple: "We'd like full ownership of these 1,350 patents."

 

Microsoft: "Hey wait.  We might need those."

 

Apple: "For what?  KIN 2.0?"

 

Microsoft: "Yeah, you're right.  We'll take the cash."

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post #8 of 13

This makes sense. Microsoft, Sony, Ericson and RIMM don't want Samsung-Android steamrolling through the mobile market, so they let Apple purchase the most useful patents for their existing fight, while taking a license for them. They retain the defensive value of the portfolio while allowing Apple to go after Samsung.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shameer Mulji View Post

"Besides, their longevity in the phone market may be very short."

 

Based on what?

Perhaps based on the perception that Microsoft just isn't cool any more, and it's not the place you want to be ?

 

I have some interesting professional experience with Microsoft and one thing that strikes me very much is that it's become like IBM used to be. There may be a lot of bright lights in the organization, mostly inaccessible to the outside world, and these smart people are doing some amazing things, but they are hidden behind a wall of lawyers.

 

You should perhaps listen to Woz on TED about innovation, about openness.

 

That's all gone from Microsoft. The bright people are saying interesting things, but the lawyers are saying something quite different and at this point, the lawyers have all the say.

post #10 of 13
Microsoft and the others have adequate protection from Android handset makers (Microsoft even collect royalties from them). All of the Rockstar partners have agreements in place to utilise the patents but Apple needs to move them into their own portfolio to better counter Samsung who are trying to leverage their own LTE patents against Apple.
post #11 of 13

MS also has that reciprocal patent agreement w/Apple anyway, so they could let Apple buy out their share of that bidding group and still maintain their usage.  The other companies, yeah, a cash infusion will probably be welcome.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha View Post

Perhaps based on the perception that Microsoft just isn't cool any more, and it's not the place you want to be ?

 

I have some interesting professional experience with Microsoft and one thing that strikes me very much is that it's become like IBM used to be. There may be a lot of bright lights in the organization, mostly inaccessible to the outside world, and these smart people are doing some amazing things, but they are hidden behind a wall of lawyers.

 

You should perhaps listen to Woz on TED about innovation, about openness.

 

That's all gone from Microsoft. The bright people are saying interesting things, but the lawyers are saying something quite different and at this point, the lawyers have all the say.

 

 

Their bread and butter, apparently circling the drain:

 

http://www.neowin.net/news/rumor-windows-8-sales-well-below-microsofts-expectations

post #13 of 13
Oh goody. . . Another NPE, affectionately called a patent troll by some, is being armed with patents to assert against techs.

This time it's Rockstar, the group that purchased the old Nortel patents, making promises to DoJ about not using them as weapons to get the blessing of the Feds. To work around that they've "sold" some number of them of them to a company called Spherix who promises to begin filing infringement lawsuits within the next 60 days.

Here's the sneaky backdoor way Apple, Microsoft, etc keep their promise to the DoJ but still turn the patents into potential weapons against mobile competitors: Become shareholders in Spherix to make sure they themselves aren't ever targets of any other patents that are bought up, and share in the wealth (and direct the legal planning?) from the patent assertion activities. . I suspect that a few of those patents will be FRAND-pledged considering what Rockstar picked up from Nortel.

Cool move. . .1rolleyes.gif

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/spherix-partner-world-famous-rockstar-100000463.html
Edited by Gatorguy - 7/24/13 at 7:15am
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