Consortium that bought Nortel's patents, including Apple, Microsoft and Ericsson, has sold them to patent house RPX as its fight against Android comes to an end.

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

December 23, 2014

2 Min Read
Rockstar Group Unloads Patents for $900M

The Rockstar Consortium, made up of Apple, Microsoft, Ericsson, BlackBerry and other big names in tech, has agreed to sell more than 4,000 patents to patent clearing house RPX for $900 million.

The group bought 6,000 patents from bankrupt Nortel in 2011 for a cool $4.5 billion, outbidding Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and using its new intellectual property to take on the Android maker in court over alleged infringements. By selling them to RPX Corp. , Rockstar has also agreed to drop any of its remaining court battles. (See Rockstar Patent Holders Sue Google & Friends and DoJ OK's $4.5B Nortel Patent Sale.)

The Wall Street Journal reports that RPX will license the patents to a separate syndicate of around 30 other technology companies, including Google and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), both of which settled patent suits with Rockstar last month. And the WSJ says the companies involved in Rockstar will get to keep the 2,000 patents they didn't contribute to the consortium, which are amongst Nortel's most valuable.

For more on mobile-related topics, head over to the mobile content channel right here on Light Reading.

Why this matters
The mobile patent wars dominated headlines in years past with some questioning whether all the litigation came at the expense of innovation. As part of its deal with RPX, Rockstar is dropping suits against Samsung Corp. , LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) , High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. . Plus, the new licensing deal, encompassing 30 companies, should mean we won't see a return to the levels of courtroom drama the industry had in the past. That's a good thing for handset makers, operators and consumers -- really everyone but the lawyers.

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— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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