Google Buys Communication Patents from Foxconn
Google has purchased a number of communications-based patents from Foxconn for an undisclosed sum. Foxconn, based in China, manufactures devices for companies such as Apple. In addition to manufacturing, the company has its own research division and patented technologies. According to the Wall Street Journal, Foxconn is one of the top patent holders in the world. Neither Google nor Foxconn provided specifics about the patents being transferred. The additional intellectual property will help shore up Google's existing patent portfolio against lawsuits. Google purchased Motorola Mobility in 2012 in large part to gain access to its more than 17,000 patents. Smartphone companies have been waging patent-based war against one another for years. Robust patent portfolios are seen as a potential defense against such attacks.
Facebook to Make Its Instant Articles Compatible with Google, Apple Formats
Facebook wants content to be more readable across the web and took steps this week toward that goal by tweaking the SDK for its Instant Articles. Facebook's Instant Articles give publishers a way to streamline content for consumption on mobile devices, but Instant Articles aren't compatible with the mobile-first styles used by Google and Apple.
Google, Seeking Patent Peace, Debuts PAX Licensing Network
Google today announced PAX, a patent-licensing initiative for Android that the company hopes will help resolve and/or prevent patent-related threats. Companies that join PAX give each other royalty-free patent licenses that cover Android and Google applications on compatible devices.
Sharp Accepts Lowered Takeover Bid from Foxconn
Foxconn has agreed to acquire a 66% stake in Sharp for $3.5 billion, said the companies today. The sale price is considerably less than the $5 billion Foxconn offered earlier in the month.
Apple's Patent Consortium to Sell 4,000 Patents for $900M
Rockstar Consortium, a patent-holding company headed by Apple, has agreed to sell more than 4,000 mobile patents for about $900 million. Apple and partners Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony paid $4.5 billion for more than 6,000 patents from Nortel four years ago in order to help protect against litigation.