RPX Corp, an organisation with an interest in lowering the cost of patents, has paid $900m for two thirds of the Rockstar Consortium’s 6000 strong haul from the bankrupt Nortel.
Rockstar, which boasts Apple, Microsoft, Sony, BlackBerry and Ericsson among its members, paid $4.5bn for the patent haul, and rather rapidly turned it against Android and Google.
The Consortium has suddenly sold the bulk of the Nortel patents to RPX Corp for $900, it paid $4.5bn, and the new guardians say that a syndicate of companies, including Google, will be offered licensed access, while the wider market will be offered the same under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
“We are pleased to act as a clearinghouse and underwrite an agreement between the owners of Rockstar and our syndicate of licensees,” added John A. Amster, CEO and co-founder of RPX.
“Leading technology companies from multiple industries came together to shape this transaction. We commend everyone involved for their leadership and commitment to clearing the risk of the Rockstar portfolio by negotiating a reasonable purchase price in one efficient transaction.”
Associated parties, including Cisco and Microsoft welcomed the news. In a statement the latter said that its aim has always been to make the patent portfolio as open as possible.
Today’s announcement is good news for our industry as it demonstrates our patent system working to promote innovation,” said Erich Andersen, VP and deputy general counsel of Microsoft.
“We joined Rockstar to ensure that both Microsoft and our industry would have broad access to the Nortel patent portfolio, and we’re pleased to have accomplished that goal through this sale and our valuable license to the patents being sold.”
The Rockstar companies will retain their patents.