Apple patent consortium Rockstar reportedly in talks for partial asset selloff

in General Discussion edited January 2014
The Apple-backed Rockstar Consortium, a group of high-power tech giants that purchased $4.5 billion worth of Nortel patents in 2011, is reportedly in discussions to unload a portion of the properties as it can't find licensees for the IP.

Rockstar Consortium Logo

According to people familiar with the matter, Rockstar is said to be "in conversations" with prospective patent buyers interested in purchasing an unknown portion of the group's Nortel acquisition from 2011, reports Bloomberg.

Backed by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony, Rockstar purchased a hoard of Nortel Networks Corp. patents in 2011 for $4.5 billion. At the time of the sale, bidding ">escalated quickly as Rockstar was up against a rival coalition led by tech titan Google.

Sources claim Rockstar has been largely unsuccessful in scoring licensing deals for the patents, which in part prompted the selloff. With approximately 4,000 patents in the Nortel stash, the consortium is already selling small portions to those interested. One of the first was a July sale to IP company Spherix, which paid an undisclosed amount of cash, $1 million in stock and a promised percentage of future profits for a package of patents.

It was reported in 2012 that Apple itself was quietly acquiring a substantial number of patents from Rockstar. While the company has access to the IP pool as a Rockstar backer, it appears Apple wants full rights to certain properties, though the nature of these patents remains unclear.

Nortel's patent hoard included a variety of properties covering numerous fields, including Internet services, communications hardware and wireless technologies.

Most recently, Rockstar in October asserted seven of the patents against Google, Samsung and others, seeking past and future damages for willful infringement of IP concerning Internet search terms.


  • Reply 1 of 8
    irelandireland Posts: 17,686member


  • Reply 2 of 8

    Most likely BB offloading their portion since they are in need of cash.

  • Reply 3 of 8
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,471member
    The fourth and last paragraph are the Interesting ones to me.

    Jeez I am sick of AI crashing on an iPad, this a new iPad Air, I hoped it would end when I upgraded from my last iPad. But no! :no:
  • Reply 4 of 8
    pdq2pdq2 Posts: 270member
    I think they should sell a bunch to VirnetX, bundled with a $40M gift card for some IP legal firm services, and reservations for some quality East Texas courtroom time.

    And maybe throw in the phone number of Google's and Samsung's law firms, just to point them in the right direction.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    If they can't licence some of the patents, what makes them think anybody'd wanna buy them?
  • Reply 6 of 8
    "Jeez I am sick of AI crashing on an iPad, this a new iPad Air, I hoped it would end when I upgraded from my last iPad. But no! "

    Take your complaints to Apple. AI has nothing to do with the garbage that is mobile Safari under iOS 7.
  • Reply 7 of 8

    Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

    If they can't licence some of the patents, what makes them think anybody'd wanna buy them?


    There is a buyer for almost anything at the right price.

  • Reply 8 of 8
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,308member
    Sad that Rockstar has chosen to sell-off a significant number of the 4000 patents it got from the Apple/Microsoft led group. Had they remained under the control of the original group I don't think those old Nortel patents would have been used as a weapon. As it has turned out I don't see how it's beneficial to the industry at large to arm more patent trolls by spreading those patents around to different NPE's to sue companies big and small. The latest is another 100+ patents sold to Spherix, adding to the 7 or so purchased a few weeks back.

    Mueller's recent claim that "Google lost the Nortel patents auction to a consortium of six industry leaders (Apple, BlackBerry, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, Sony) [I]who just wanted to clear the market before anyone would abuse Nortel's patents[/I]" is quite obvious puffery. Expect plenty of abuse by the time Rockstar is done :\
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