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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European Union to rule on Google’s planned Motorola Mobility buy on February 13th

By on January 19, 2012 at 3:45 PM.

European Union to rule on Google’s planned Motorola Mobility buy on February 13th

The European Union will decide on February 13th whether or not to give its blessing to Google’s planned purchase of Motorola Mobility. Google recently provided European courts with more information in support of the merger, Reuters said. The European Union suspended its review of the merger on December 12th pending Google’s submission of documents that are considered “essential to its evaluation of the transaction.” Google announced on August 15th its intentions to purchase Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion and said the purchase will bolster its patent portfolio and help it defend its Android partners against competitors such as Apple and Microsoft. More →

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Poor Lumia sales may have pushed Nokia back into acquisition talks with Microsoft

By on January 6, 2012 at 2:00 PM.

Poor Lumia sales may have pushed Nokia back into acquisition talks with Microsoft

Poor sales of the Nokia Lumia 800 and 710 may have prompted Nokia to resume acquisition talks with Microsoft during November, according to a recent Forbes interview with influential Russian tech blogger Eldar Murtazin. Rumors that Nokia was considering selling off its smartphone business to Microsoft first surfaced in June but were quickly shot down by both companies. Murtazin said, however, that the talks resumed again this past November and that it’s possible Nokia could be interested in selling its smartphone business to Microsoft and then focusing on delivering its next-generation feature phones in emerging markets and elsewhere. Nokia on Thursday denied all speculation surrounding the rumored potential deal. Murtazin also claims that Nokia only sold 2,000 Lumia devices in Russia during its first two weeks of availability. 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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Samsung to buy Sony’s share of S-LCD joint venture for $940 million

By on December 26, 2011 at 9:01 AM.

Samsung to buy Sony’s share of S-LCD joint venture for $940 million

Samsung will purchase Sony’s 50% share of S-LCD, a joint venture created by both companies in 2004, for $939.6 million. Both companies will continue to cooperate on the development of new LCD panel technology, however, and Sony says it hopes to “secure a flexible and steady supply” of LCD panels from Samsung moving forward. “With whole ownership of S-LCD, Samsung anticipates heightened flexibility, speed and efficiency in both panel production and business operations,” Samsung said in the statement. Samsung expects the purchase to be finalized by the end of January 2012 pending approval from regulatory authorities. The full press release follows after the break. More →

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Verizon said to be ‘very serious’ about potential Netflix bid

By on December 13, 2011 at 5:15 PM.

Verizon said to be ‘very serious’ about potential Netflix bid

Mediatech Capital managing partner Porter Bibb believes Verizon Communications is seriously considering making a bid for Netflix. Rumors swirled around recently suggesting that Verizon may team up with the kiosk movie rental service Redbox in 2012 to create its own streaming service to compete head-to-head with Netflix, although perhaps Verizon Communications is considering a different strategy. “I am hearing rumblings from inside Verizon that they are very serious about either Netflix or something similar,” Bibb told Bloomberg on Tuesday. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam confirmed earlier this month that the company is looking to enter the steaming-video space in an effort to bolster its FiOS offering. More →

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Apple may buy Israeli flash memory firm Anobit for $400-$500 million

By on December 13, 2011 at 8:10 AM.

Apple may buy Israeli flash memory firm Anobit for $400-$500 million

Apple may be preparing to purchase Anobit, an fabless Israeli firm that specializes in flash storage solutions for mobile and enterprise markets. The Cupertino-based company could be willing to spend between $400 million and $500 million on Anobit, Calcalist reported Tuesday. Anobit’s website says its memory signal processing (MSP) technology “significantly improves endurance, performance and cost of flash storage products and systems.” Apple is reportedly already an Anobit customer for its MacBook Air, iPhone and iPad product families. Anobit was founded in 2006, holds 95 total patents and currently employs about 200 people. More →

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Google unveils enhanced Google Music service for Android, Web

By on November 16, 2011 at 5:17 PM.

Google unveils enhanced Google Music service for Android, Web

Google on Wednesday took the wraps off a new and improved music service. Building onto “Music Beta by Google,” Google has launched Google Music, a publicly available cloud-based music services that will be free to users in the United States. Google Music users can add up to 20,000 songs from their local libraries to the cloud and stream them to any number of supported devices over the Internet. “Pinned” albums and songs are downloaded to devices and cached for local playback without the need for an Internet connection. Read on for more. More →

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Huawei to acquire Symantec’s 49% stake in Huawei Symantec for $530 million

By on November 15, 2011 at 1:00 AM.

Huawei to acquire Symantec’s 49% stake in Huawei Symantec for $530 million

Huawei announced on Monday its intentions to purchase Symantec’s 49% stake in Huawei Symantec, a joint venture between the two companies that was originally formed in 2008, giving Huawei full control of the company. “The integration of Huawei Symantec’s innovative security and storage technology with Huawei’s enterprise products will reinforce Huawei’s leading position in cloud computing,” said Guo Ping, deputy chairman of Huawei.” The $530 million purchase is still pending regulatory approval, but Huawei expects the deal to close during the first quarter of 2012. Read on for the full press release.

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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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AT&T says T-Mobile deal will close later than expected

By on November 4, 2011 at 5:55 PM.

AT&T says T-Mobile deal will close later than expected

AT&T has pushed back the date it expects to close the books on its planned merger with T-Mobile and spectrum purchase from QualcommThe Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The carrier had originally planned to close both acquisitions by March of 2012, although it now expects the required approvals to take as much as three months longer to gain. The carrier now says the deal should be approved by the end of the first half next year. AT&T recently ran into speed bumps with both deals. In August the Federal Communications Commission announced that it would review both AT&T’s spectrum purchase from Qualcomm and its merger with T-Mobile USA at the same time. Later that month, the U.S. government sued AT&T in an effort to block the T-Mobile acquisition. AT&T has argued that the T-Mobile purchase will provide jobs and improve wireless service for Americans. It also responded to the FCC lawsuit, saying it will “vigorously contest [the] matter in court.”

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MetroPCS interested in buying AT&T/T-Mobile assets

By on October 21, 2011 at 9:45 PM.

MetroPCS interested in buying AT&T/T-Mobile assets

MetroPCS is interested in purchasing spectrum and subscribers from AT&T and T-Mobile, Bloomberg said Friday. Leap Wireless and Dish Network were also approached and Leap may still be interested in making an offer. The deal with MetroPCS would likely amount to less than $4 billion. In August, The Wall Street Journal revealed AT&T had hired Bank of America’s Merill Lynch to advise it on selling as much as $8 billion in assets. Later that month, the United States government sued to block the planned merger when the U.S. Justice Department said the deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the U.S. wireless market. Read on for more. More →

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