Microsoft and Facebook announce $550 million patent deal

By on April 23, 2012 at 12:30 PM.

Microsoft and Facebook announce $550 million patent deal

Microsoft and Facebook on Monday announced a $550 million patent agreement in which the social networking giant will purchase a portion of the patent portfolio Microsoft recently acquired recently from Aol. Facebook will take ownership of approximately 650 former Aol patents, and it will license the remaining patents owned by the software giant. Microsoft will retain ownership of approximately 275 Aol patents and will license the additional 650 Aol patents to be transferred to Facebook. “Today’s agreement with Facebook enables us to recoup over half of our costs while achieving our goals from the AOL auction,” said Brad Smith, executive vice president and general counsel of Microsoft. “As we said earlier this month, we had submitted the winning AOL bid in order to obtain a durable license to the full AOL portfolio and ownership of certain patents that complement our existing portfolio.” Ted Ullyot, Facebook’s general counsel, said, “this is another significant step in our ongoing process of building an intellectual property portfolio to protect Facebook’s interests over the long term.” The joint press release follows below. More →

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Intel to buy 190 patents and video codec software from RealNetworks for $120 million

By on January 26, 2012 at 11:05 PM.

Intel to buy 190 patents and video codec software from RealNetworks for $120 million

Intel and RealNetworks announced on Thursday that Intel will purchase video codec software, 190 patents and 170 patent applications from RealNetworks for a total of $120 million. “We believe this agreement enhances our ability to continue to offer richer experiences and innovative solutions to end users across a wide spectrum of devices, including through Ultrabook devices, smartphones and digital media,” said Renee James, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Software and Services Group. The two companies also agreed to work together on future advancements in video codec software. “RealNetworks does not anticipate that the sale of the approximately 190 patents and 170 patent applications and next generation video codec software will have any material impact on its businesses,” the company said in a statement. RealNetworks’s full press release follows after the break. More →

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Google acquires 217 new patents from IBM

By on January 3, 2012 at 6:00 PM.

Google acquires 217 new patents from IBM

Google recently purchased 217 patents from IBM, including 28 published patents and 188 of IBM’s granted patents. The transaction was posted in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s assignment database on Tuesday. SEO by the Sea said the patents are related to email administration, IM apps, video conferencing, presentation software and more. It remains unclear how much Google paid for the patents, but the company also purchased 1,000 patents from IBM in July of last year and another 1,023 in September. Google is currently in the process of acquiring Motorola Mobility as well, which has a vast patent portfolio that Google said will help it defend its Android partners from patent lawsuits filed by litigious competitors such as Microsoft and Apple. More →

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Verizon Wireless acquires spectrum from Comcast, others for $3.6 billion

By on December 2, 2011 at 9:01 PM.

Verizon Wireless acquires spectrum from Comcast, others for $3.6 billion

Verizon Wireless announced Friday that it plans to acquire 122 advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, a joint venture formed by Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House Networks, for $3.6 billion. The spectrum covers 259 million POPs. Comcast owns 63.6% of SpectrumCo and will take home $2.3 billion from the spectrum sale, Time Warner owns 31.2% of the company and expects to receive about $1.1 billion, and Bright House Networks will make roughly $189 million on the deal. As part of the agreement, Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House Networks will eventually have the option to sell Verizon Wireless service through wholesale channels. Read on for more. More →

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Amazon quietly acquires Yap in clear bid to combat Siri

By on November 9, 2011 at 4:35 PM.

Amazon quietly acquires Yap in clear bid to combat Siri

Amazon recently quietly purchased Yap, a Charlotte-based company that specializes in voice-to-text technology. CLTBlog, a Charlotte-focused website, discovered a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that doesn’t actually name Amazon as the purchaser of Yap, but it does attribute the acquisition to a company called “Dion Acquisition Sub,” and the “Surviving Corporation” listed by the SEC has the same address as an Amazon.com office located on 410 Terry Avenue in Seattle, Washington. Read on for more. More →

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HP finalizes Autonomy acquisition

By on October 3, 2011 at 11:30 PM.

HP finalizes Autonomy acquisition

HP announced on Monday that it has followed through with its intentions to acquire Autonomy and has purchased the enterprise information technology firm for £25.50 per share in cash. HP will allow Autonomy to operate as an entirely separate arm; Autonomy will continue to be led by its founder and CEO Dr. Mike Lynch, who will report to HP’s newly appointed CEO Meg Whitman. “We are committed to helping our customers solve their toughest IT challenges,” HP president and chief executive officer Meg Whitman said. “The exploding growth of unstructured and structured data and unlocking its value is the single largest opportunity for consumers, businesses and governments. Autonomy significantly increases our capabilities to manage and extract meaning from that data to drive insight, foresight and better decision making.” Read on for the full press release. More →

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Google acquires ZAGAT

By on September 8, 2011 at 12:15 PM.

Google acquires ZAGAT

Google announced on Thursday that it acquired the restaurant rating company ZAGAT. “ZAGAT will be a cornerstone of our local offering — delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world,” Marissa Mayer, vice president of local, maps and location services at Google said in a blog post. “I’m incredibly excited to collaborate with ZAGAT to bring the power of Google search and Google Maps to their products and users, and to bring their innovation, trust and wealth of experience to our users.” ZAGAT was started more than 32 years ago by a couple, Tim and Nina Zagat, and the company’s ratings are now embedded in pocket guides and plastered on restaurant windows in more than 100 cities around the world and across 13 different categories. Tim Zagat confirmed on ZAGAT’s website that the couple will remain with the business as co-chairs. “Google is the first place everyone goes when looking for information; it’s the perfect home for our content,” Mr. Zagat said. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. More →

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Deutsche Telekom caught off-guard by DOJ’s move to block AT&T/T-Mobile deal

By on September 1, 2011 at 10:15 PM.

Deutsche Telekom caught off-guard by DOJ’s move to block AT&T/T-Mobile deal

The U.S. Department of Justice’s decision to file a lawsuit in an attempt to block AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA caught Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann off-guard while he was meeting with a team of managers and his supervisory board, a board member told Bloomberg on Thursday. Deutsche Telekom, AT&T and T-Mobile had all been confident that the deal would be approved in March of next year. Speaking during the IFA trade show in Berlin, head of Deutsche Telekom Germany Niek Jan van Damme echoed AT&T’s commitment to continue to fight for the deal’s approval. “We’re staying in it,” Van Damme said. “Other scenarios were not being discussed. When you are in a deal, you stick to that deal, a clear focus on that deal.” Obermann has said his company will work with AT&T to contest the DOJ’s lawsuit, which Van Damme seemed to shrug off. “When it comes to larger M&A deals in the US, these things happen,” he said. “This isn’t an exception. We have everything under control.” If the federal government does successfully block the deal, AT&T will be required to pay T-Mobile USA $6 billion in cash and assets. More →

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Google to cough up $2.5 billion if Motorola deal falls through

By on August 15, 2011 at 3:25 PM.

Google to cough up $2.5 billion if Motorola deal falls through

Google has agreed to pay Motorola Mobility $2.5 billion if its planned acquisition of the cell phone vendor fails to close, Bloomberg claims. The report cites an anonymous source as having revealed the figure, which Bloomberg says is more than six times the typical breakup fee for such deals. Google announced on Monday that it plans to acquire Android smartphone and tablet vendor Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. While the proposed deal would give Google complete control over future Android device experiences, it would also add approximately 25,000 patents to the tech giant’s portfolio as it prepares to do battle with the likes of Apple and Microsoft. These patents are seemingly so important to Google that it is willing to part with a massive sum should its acquisition fail to get necessary approval. “A high reverse breakup fee shows the buyer’s confidence of getting the deal done,” Donna Hitscherich, a senior lecturer in finance at Columbia Business School, told Bloomberg. “People don’t do deals to get the breakup fee, they do them to get the deals done.” More →

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Google's Motorola buy could spell trouble for Android partners

By on August 15, 2011 at 1:01 PM.

Google's Motorola buy could spell trouble for Android partners

By now, you’ve no doubt seen the news: Google intends to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. What this will do is not only give Google access to Motorola’s vast patent library consisting of nearly 25,000 patents, but it will also give Google an end-to-end hardware and software strategy with smartphones, tablets and even with Google TV. The thing is, Google didn’t need to buy Motorola. Google could have just licensed the patents from Motorola. Google bought Motorola because it felt like control of the Android experience was slipping away. It’s apparent that one Nexus-like device from Google a year won’t be enough — MOTOBLUR has probably given Andy Rubin ulcers — and it’s apparent that a company that’s leading in many areas of the smartphone arena wants to control that entire experience. Open or not, it is Google’s, after all. Smartphones and tablets are also going to be the biggest categories in technology for the foreseeable future, and if you think Google is just going to play around with that, well, you obviously haven’t seen the company’s recent moves. Read on for more. More →

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Google to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion

By on August 15, 2011 at 7:39 AM.

Google to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion

Google and Motorola Mobility have announced an agreement whereby Google will acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion. The acquisition price equates to $40 per share of Motorola stock, or a premium of 63% over Friday’s closing price. The move is considered in part to be an effort that will better-align Google to compete with Apple’s iPhone, which owned two-thirds of profits among the world’s top-8 smartphone vendors in the second quarter. A Google-owned hardware arm give the company complete control over device hardware, software and services, resulting in an end-to-end user experience that is completely under Google’s command. Perhaps just as important in this day and age, the deal will also give Google control of Motorola’s extensive patent portfolio. “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies,” Google CEO Larry Page said in a statement. “Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.” It is unclear how this might affect Google’s relationship with other Android partners. The deal is subject to regulatory approval, of course, and it is expected to close in late 2011 or early 2012. The full press release follows below. More →

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Samsung, Apple and Google considering bids on InterDigital's patent portfolio

By on August 3, 2011 at 11:41 PM.

Samsung, Apple and Google considering bids on InterDigital's patent portfolio

Apple, Google and Samsung are examining InterDigital and its 8,800-patent portfolio, and at least one is expected to bid on the company, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. InterDigital is based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and analysts from Algorithm Capital and Dougherty & Co. said the firm could be worth as much as $5 billion. InterDigital owns patents related to transferring data over wireless networks and its inventions have been used in Android and BlackBerry smartphones as well as the iPhone, Bloomberg said. “The fight between Apple and Samsung is getting serious, so if the assets go to Apple, it could be pretty risky for Samsung,” Shinyoung Securities Co. analyst Lee Seung Woo told Bloomberg. “To hedge the risk, Samsung could go ahead with bidding, although they may have to pay a big premium.” All three companies are beefing up existing patent portfolios as the legal battles between each company heat up. Most recently, Samsung acquired memory maker Grandis and Google purchased 1,000 patents from IBM. More →

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Google hates smartphone patent wars, but buys 1,000 new patents to go to war

By on July 29, 2011 at 8:15 AM.

Google hates smartphone patent wars, but buys 1,000 new patents to go to war

Google’s general counsel Kent Walker apparently doesn’t see eye to eye with the rest of his company. “The tech industry has a significant problem,” Walker said earlier this week. “Software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation.” According to SEO by the Sea however, Google purchased 1,030 patents from IBM just two weeks before Walker made those comments. According to the report, the patents purchased cover a wide rage of IP, “from the fabrication and architecture of memory and microprocessing chips, to other areas of computer architecture including servers and routers as well.” Still more patents cover specific database functions, various aspects of object-oriented programming and even some business processes. The terms of Google’s acquisition have not been disclosed. More →

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