InterDigital Patents Draw Interest from Apple and Samsung
According to sources cited by Bloomberg, Samsung and Apple have indicated their interest in acquiring patents from InterDigital. Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google has held preliminary acquisition discussions with InterDigital, too. InterDigital owns and licenses some 8,800 patents pertaining to cellular phones, including wireless data transmission, noise cancellation, and other handset-related technologies. The smartphone industry is embroiled with patent litigation. The Journal said that Google is interested in InterDigital's patents 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. Samsung and Apple are in the middle of a heated lawsuit regarding smartphones, and the addition of InterDigital's patents could give one a courtroom-advantage over the other. InterDigital has hired a firm to help it explore patent sales options, but none of the companies has confirmed Bloomberg's or the Journal's reports.
Samsung Reveals Price Points for Gear Sport Watch and Icon X Headphones
Samsung today said its Gear Sport smartwatch and Icon X 2018 headphones will be available for pre-order starting October 13, with general retail availability to follow October 27. The Gear Sport, a fitness-focused smartwatch that runs Samsung's Tizen platform, costs $299.99.
Powermat to Upgrade Starbucks Charging Mats to Support iPhone X
Powermat, which has deployed PMA-compliant wireless chargers at thousands of Starbucks locations around the U.S., plans to update its charging pads to support the iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 8 from Apple. At the moment, there are two competing wireless charging standards, PMA and Qi.
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.
Nokia and ZTE Cleared In InterDigital Patent Case
A court today said Nokia and ZTE did not violate patents held by InterDigital, a patent licensing firm. InterDigital had filed a case against the two phone makers with the International Trade Commission.