Google Eying InterDigital for Patent Protection
According to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal, Google has held preliminary acquisition discussions with wireless patent firm InterDigital. InterDigital owns and licenses some 8,800 patents pertaining to cellular phones, including wireless data transmission, noise cancellation, and other handset-related technologies. The Journal's sources say Google is interested in InterDigital after its recent loss in the Nortel patent auction, which was won by a consortium of companies that included Apple, RIM, Sony, and others. Without many patents of its own, Google is more susceptible to patent litigation than its competitors. Purchasing InterDigital and its 8,800 wireless patents would give Google at least some legal protection. Neither Google nor InterDigital confirmed the Journal's story, though InterDigital has hired banking firms to explore the idea of a sale.