Apple-led Rockstar Consortium to sell 4,000 patents to RPX Corp. for $900 million

“In yet another sign that the smartphone-patent wars are starting to cool, Apple Inc. and a handful of other big technology companies [Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony] have agreed to sell the bulk of a jointly owned portfolio of telecommunications patent assets for $900 million, less than a quarter of the $4.5 billion they paid for the full portfolio four years ago,” Ashby Jones reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Rockstar Consortium Inc. has agreed to sell more than 4,000 patents to San Francisco-based RPX Corp. , a patent clearinghouse that helps companies protect themselves from patent lawsuits,” Jones reports. “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.”

“The companies… distributed the remaining 2,000 patents among each other,” Jones reports. “RPX will turn around and license the patents to a separate syndicate of about 30 other technology companies that include Google and Cisco Systems Inc. ‘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.'”

Read more in the full article here.

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  1. Licencing is only a better option because the courts have utterly failed to uphold patents as they are legally required to, allowing companies to steal expensive and risky research from other successful companies. This is quite idiotic but unfortunately inevitable result of the horrendous failure of the court system.

  2. Tech moves fast. A lot of these could be for something that there are better solutions already. Some may need another patents to really work well. It would be hard to get all members of Rockstar on board for a legal battle anyway. Almost everyone in the mobile business is a frienemy.

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