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Apple Has Quietly Acquired Nortel Patents From the Rockstar Consortium

Apple Has Quietly Acquired Nortel Patents From the Rockstar Consortium

Tuesday it was announced that Apple has taken control of 1,024 patents and patent applications from the Rockstar Consortium, a patent bidding group led by Apple that won an auction for numerous Nortel patents in 2011.


As a major contributor to the Rockstar Consortium, formerly called Rockstar Bidco, Apple already had access to the pool of about 4,000 former Nortel patents, but it appears that the company wants full rights to the IP. Business Insider speculated that the move is closely tied to Apple’s ongoing global patent wars with wireless handset rivals like Samsung, as full rights allow the company to wield the properties offensively.

The transaction sheds light on the transfer of over 1.350 patents that have transferred from Rockstar during the last six months, almost all of which have gone to Apple.

Apple-led Rockstar put up $4.5 billion in August 2011 to outbid a Google-backed consortium for a batch of Nortel patents. Apple contributed $2.6 billion to the pot, while the remaining amount was contributed by other Rockstar participants, including Microsoft, Sony, Ericsson, and RIM.

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