Google has participated in initial acquisition talks with wireless chip technology company Interdigital to better arm itself in the rapidly escalating patent war between mobile technology providers, sources close to the situation told the Wall Street Journal.
The news of the preliminary discussions comes just after Google failed to acquire thousands of telecom patents auctioned off by bankrupt Nortel. Google was beat out by a consortium of competitors headlined by Apple, Microsoft and Research in Motion, which paid $4.5 billion for around 6,000 patents. The winning bid dwarfed Google's $900 million stalking horse bid.
Purchasing Interdigital would help Google beef up its portfolio of intellectual property and protect its Android mobile platform from being targeted by patent-infringement lawsuits. Interdigital owns a war chest of around 8,800 patents, most of which are related to the telecommunications and wireless industries. The company is said to have a market value of around $3.1 billion, says Reuters.
Although Google is not always directly targeted itself, device makers that license Android are regularly greeted with litigation in regards to the technology running their handsets. Android licensees like HTC, Motorola and Samsung have faced numerous patent infringement lawsuits in recent years from companies like Apple, Microsoft and French digital security firm Gemalto.
The sources told the Journal that Google's interest in the patent holder was peeked after Interdigital acknowledged that its board was looking into “strategic alternatives” for the company.
Although Interdigital declined to comment on the matter, people close to the situation said that the wireless chip company will look for a deal that reflects both the current value of its patent portfolio and the long-term revenue that will be gained from its intellectual property licenses.
Interdigital shares skyrocketed by nearly 30 percent to $69.15 after the Journal article hit the presses.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.
Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.Edited by Jennifer Russell
To hear the current FCC talk about it, 5G mobile service is the be-all and end-all of not only mobile communications, but the answer to most of the co…
mCart by Mavatar announces the launch of the world's first blockchain-based decentralized mCart marketplace by the FX Group.
Federal judge Richard Leon gave the $85 billion deal the green light today - and without any requirements to sell off any parts of the company. He als…
There are now thousands of blockchains, and unless you are a cryptophile, you won't recognize most of them.
Ribbon Communications tells its story at Perspectives18.