Mobile

Apple, Nokia, Qualcomm line up next big patent score: InterDigital

And the patent wars continue. Apple, Nokia, and Qualcomm are among many companies eying wireless telecom specialist InterDigital, holder of a major patent portfolio, Reuters reports.

With Google plunking down $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility and its 20,000 patents on Monday, competitors are likely desperate to shore up their own patent portfolios. Despite the Motorola acquisition, which could make InterDigital look a little less of a catch by comparison, the company is pursuing a buyer, and it’s moving ahead with its auction after Labor Day, sources tell Reuters.

Not surprisingly, the company’s auction is expected to be heavily contested. Google remains a potential bidder in InterDigital, but I don’t expect the company is going to fight too hard to win. The Motorola acquisition was Google’s biggest yet, and the company will likely hold off before any other major purchases. Google’s absence in the auction could dramatically lower InterDigital’s potential sell price.

The company holds 8,800 patents in its portfolio, including key 3G and 4G LTE patents, Reuters reports. Over 50 percent of the 3G market is already licensing InterDigital’s patents in some form, including Apple, Samsung and HTC.

Apple, Microsoft and RIM recently joined together to spend $4.5 billion on Nortel’s patent portfolio, which left¬†Google out in the cold.

InterDigital currently has a market value of $3 billion, so it certainly won’t be a minor purchase for its potential buyer. The company’s stock fell on the news of the Google/Motorola deal on Monday but rose today once news of its potential buyers was revealed. Its stock currently sits at $68.97 in after hours trading at the time of this post.

Photo via Ed Yourdon


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