Rockstar Consortium Inc., which was formed by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony back in 2010 has agreed to sell more than 4,000 patents to RPX Corp. , a patent clearinghouse that helps companies protect themselves from patent lawsuits. It is surprising to see Rockstar selling the patents at such low rates as these patents were acquired for about $4.5 billion. Over 6,000 patents were acquired from Nortel and over 2,000 were distributed among the members and the rest were used to sue Android OEMs such as Google, and others.
The deal will put an end to several high-profile lawsuits filed by Rockstar against companies that make phones powered by the Android operating system.
“Peace is breaking out,” said John Amster, the chief executive of RPX. “I think people have started to realize that licensing, not litigation, is the best way to make use of patents, and this deal is a significant acknowledgment of that reality.”
Erich Andersen, deputy general counsel at Microsoft said, “We joined Rockstar to ensure that both Microsoft and our industry would have broad access to the Nortel patent portfolio, and we’re pleased to have accomplished that goal through this sale.”
Did Rockstar got back its $4.5 billion investment?
The Rockstar companies squeezed more than three years of use out of the 4,000 patents, and will keep licenses going forward. The 2,000 patents they held back from Rockstar—and aren’t part of the sale to RPX—were among some of the most valuable in the Nortel portfolio.
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