In 2013 and 2014 we saw some ugly patent battles revolving around smartphone inventions and innovations. Most of these battles featured Apple and Google with decisions made by Judge Lucy Koh. With the Rockstar consortium—a holding entity owned by Apple, BlackBerry, Ericcson, Microsoft, and Sony—selling off the last of its patents, we could see the likes of Apple, Microsoft, and Sony exit the realm of lengthy patent battles.
RPX Corp. has picked up the remainder of Rockstar’s portfolio for $900 million—the amount that Google originally courted Nortel with—and with that, any issues with other companies and patents becomes their problem. Placed in a kind of “middle man” role, the company is lookng to license out the gold mine of Nortel patents to a large number of tech companies such as Google.
The Nortel patent mine was picked up by the Rockstar consortium back in 2011 after trumping Google’s bid. With the portfolio held by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony and Ericcson, the group was poised to take several other large tech companies to court. All companies targeted also happened to run their smartphones with Android.
With the last of the patents now in RPX’s hands and Google and Rockstar burying the hatchet on their patent battles, it looks as though there could calm skies in large tech circles as far as smartphone technology goes. At least for now.