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 →

29 Comments

Software patents ‘gumming up’ smartphone innovation, Google’s general counsel says

By on July 26, 2011 at 8:45 PM.

Software patents ‘gumming up’ smartphone innovation, Google’s general counsel says

Apple, Google, HTC, Samsung, Microsoft… it’s hard to name a technology company that’s not currently involved in a patent battle with another firm. Google’s general counsel Kent Walker thinks the legal battles could actually hurt consumers and the landscape of today’s ever changing smartphone market. “The tech industry has a significant problem,” Walker said. “Software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation.” Google chairman Eric Schmidt recently said that his company will stand behind HTC, one of its Android partners, in an attempt to ensure it doesn’t lose an ongoing patent battle with Apple. “We have seen an explosion of Android devices entering the market and, because of our successes, competitors are responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations,” Schmidt said. According to Bloomberg, Walker said that Google is looking to purchase patents that will allow it to compete better against its rivals, such as Apple. It is unclear what acquisitions Google will pursue in an effort to bolster its patent portfolio, but there is speculation the search giant will buy Kodak’s InterDigital arm. “Each side can blow the other up on some level –everybody can block the other’s products from coming to market,” Walker said. “You create this mutually assured destruction scenario, but it’s very expensive to get all those munitions. Buying patents so you can hit the other guy, it’s not good form. You hate to unilaterally disarm here, but we haven’t in our history.” Walker said that he’s confident Google has the muscle to “balance the scales” against the likes of Microsoft and Apple. More →

57 Comments