Business

Apple-backed Rockstar group reportedly hawking its patents

Above: Apple, Microsoft, and others didn't form this kind of rockstar group, as sweet as that would have been.

In 2011, a group of technology companies that included Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and BlackBerry banded together to outbid Google on a bundle of patents from Nortel Networks. This cadre was victorious, paying $4.5 billion for around 4,000 patents, which Google couldn’t match.

Now the group, which calls itself the Rockstar Consortium, is reportedly looking to offload some of those patents.

But the consortium has had a tough time finding buyers, according to Bloomberg. It’s a stark contrast to 2011′s fervent bidding war, which placed a huge value on the patents, most of which relate to wireless technologies.

Rockstar has already starting selling off a few patents — and we do mean just a few. In July, the consortium announced a sale of seven mobile communications patents to intellectual property company Spherix, for which it received $1 million in stock, an undisclosed amount of cash, and (eventually) a percentage of future profits.

The Ottawa-based Rockstar hasn’t had much success licensing the patents, which is why it’s looking to sell a portion of them. In October, Rockstar filed suit against Google, Samsung, HTC, and others for patent infringement. The patents involved in the litigation are not up for sale, said Bloomberg.

Rockstar’s patents cover technology related to 4G LTE wireless capabilities, Wi-Fi, semiconductors, and data networking, among other categories.

The consortium has not responded to a request for comment by press time. We’ll update this article if we hear back later.

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