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.
InterDigital's ITC Case Against ZTE Fails
The U.S. ITC today cleared ZTE of violating a phone-related patent held by InterDigital.
Microsoft Accuses InterDigital of Antitrust Behavior
Microsoft has filed an antitrust lawsuit against InterDigital, a patent-licensing firm, for charging exorbitant rates to license standard-essential patents. The two companies have been embroiled in patent litigation for years.
Microsoft Loses Patent Case to InterDigital
The International Trade Commission today ruled Microsoft improperly used two InterDigital wireless patents without permission. The ruling judge said "it would not be against the public interest to ban the Microsoft [phones] from import into the United States." Patent-related complaints are often taken to the ITC, which has the power to enact such bans.
Microsoft Avoids Import Ban in InterDigital Case
Microsoft escaped what could have been a harmful ban on its devices as the U.S. International Trade Commission decided not to block the import of Microsoft's smartphones into the U.S.
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.