Euronews: Ericsson Offloads Mobile Patents
News Analysis Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe 1/11/2013
Ericsson AB and Telefónica SA proffer something for the weekend in Friday's lineup of EMEA headlines.
Ericsson has sold 2,185 mobile technology patents to Unwired Planet (formerly known as Openwave) in a deal that will take the licensing specialist's patent assets from about 260 to more than 2,400. The patents relate to 2G, 3G as well as LTE networks and cover technologies such as signal processing, radio resource management, mobility management, antennas and voice and text applications. In exchange for the patent transfer, Ericsson will get "certain ongoing rights in future revenues" from Unwired Planet's patent portfolio as well as a license to the portfolio.
The venture capital arm of Telefónica Digital, the next-generation services division of Telefónica, has made an investment in Taskhub, one of the startups it has been supporting in its London incubator offices. Taskhub, which has created an online marketplace that allows people to identify, hire, pay and review verified local individuals or small businesses for small jobs or tasks, is one of the first wave of nearly 20 innovators backed and mentored in the U.K. capital by Wayra, the team that is nurturing digital talent in a number of locations across Europe and Latin America. This is the first time Telefónica Digital's venture capital team has invested in a Wayra startup. (See Telefónica to Hatch Startups and Why Gonzalo Martin-Villa Is Kissing Frogs.)
On a less positive note for Telefónica, one of its subsidiaries, Telefónica Moviles Espana S.A.U., is being investigated by Spain's antitrust body, reports Reuters. The probe relates to alleged restrictive practices in the way it offered mobile services to businesses.
Firefox-based phones could be on their way to Europe in 2013, reports the BBC. China's ZTE Corp. is working with an unnamed European operator to bring Mozilla's operating system to the mobile masses.
Joaquín Almunia, the European Commission’s competition chief, has been telling the Financial Times (subscription required) that he still has concerns that Google is manipulating search results in favor of its own services, despite the search giant recently receiving the all-clear from the Federal Trade Commission over such charges. Almunia has a particular problem with the way search results are presented, adding, "We are not discussing the algorithm."
Orange Business Services, the enterprise arm of France Télécom – Orange, has launched a joint venture with Qatar's Sheikh Fahad Bin Ghanem [Al Abdul Rahman] Al Thani. The unit will target verticals such as oil and gas, the public sector and large infrastructure projects.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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