Group led by Apple and Microsoft sells patents for $900M

A group led by Apple and Microsoft has sold about 4,000 technology patents to patent management company RPX Corp. for $900 million.

The deal announced Tuesday marks another shift in the ownership of a auctioned off in 2011 after telecommunications company Nortel Networks went bankrupt. Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony formed the Rockstar Consortium to buy the patents for $4.5 billion, outbidding Google Inc. for the rights to technology used in many .

The Nortel portfolio initially consisted of about 6,000 patents, but Apple, Microsoft and the other members of Rockstar held on to 2,000 of them.

RPX, which is based in San Francisco, formed a subsidiary to manage the newly acquired patents and collect licensing payments from more than 30 companies, including Google.


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Citation: Group led by Apple and Microsoft sells patents for $900M (2014, December 23) retrieved 22 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-group-apple-microsoft-patents-900m.html
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Dec 23, 2014
RPX corp.... professional patent trolls.... Companies should be given a certain amount of time to actually use the info in a patent or the patent should be cancelled. There are far too many good ideas out there not being used simply because some company got a patent and never built anything based on it. I know, I was a victim of that a few years ago. Me and a friend tried to get something patented but found out a company already had something vaguely like it but has never done a single thing with the patent except set on it so no one else could build a device somewhat like it. That is wrong and should be stopped!

Dec 23, 2014
Nonsense. Buying IP as an investment and selling off what's desirable or protecting the investment is simply business and there is nothing whatsoever wrong with it.

What is it about IP that makes it's trade into trolling? That there are some with dubious practices? If that's enough to discredit an entire domain there would be no lawyers. Wait.

Dec 26, 2014
Nonsense. Buying IP as an investment and selling off what's desirable or protecting the investment is simply business and there is nothing whatsoever wrong with it.

You are confused as to the original intent of IP law.

The purpose of enacting IP protection was not to enable IP owners to become wealthy but rather to encourage development of IP to the greater benefit of society.

It might be argued that we'd be better off today with no government sanctioned protection of IP.

In a sense you are right. In the business vs. business world, "wrong" is meaningless. You do what you must to survive and prosper. In the larger sense though, if what you do doesn't benefit society, doesn't give the best value to the consumer, then what you are doing is wrong.

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