Home > I.P. Freely, Legal Buzz > Nortel patents will play key role in your next smartphone

Nortel patents will play key role in your next smartphone

Waiting for that new iPhone5? Excited to see what Samsung’s new Galaxy Phone is all about, or anxious about the latest Droid? We all are, in some way. But the truth is all these shiny new goodies will incorporate many of the patents from a failed hi-technology juggernaut – Nortel Networks. The Ottawa, Ont. based company rapidly expanded in the nineties and was a world leader in technological innovation. Its souffle like collapse ignited a firesale of useful patents that many of its formal rivals, like Nokia, Apple and RIM have been eager to snap up. The treasure trove of riches that is Nortel wireless technology  will help shape your next smart phone and the network it will run on for the next ten years, at least.

Duncan Stewart, director of research at Deloitte, said as smart phones grow ever more popular, the patents behind the technology in them will grow ever more important.

Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM has been eager to access this technology. RIM has struggled recently to compete with Cupertino, Calif. based Apple.

RIM executives have stated “These are crucial things that are going to be at the core of networks almost certainly for at least the next decade.”

A Globe and Mail news article reports that:

A consortium of companies which includes RIM, Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft and Sony, won the auction Friday with a bid of $4.5-billion. The bid beat Google’s attempt at acquiring the valuable technology. Google has been rapidly gaining market share in the wireless market with its Android operating system.

There is also concern the patents may fall into the wrong hands, spurring a cascade of expensive litigation.

“Certainly litigation by entities colloquially known as patent trolls in the United States has become something of an epidemic,” he said. But, Ullmann noted, that at $4.5-billion, it was difficult to believe that the purchase was a purely defensive move. “There must be inherent value for them in this stuff as well,”

The immediate effect of Nortel’s patents is still unclear, and whether it will effect the race between RIM and Apple is yet to be seen. These  patents are the remnants of a once powerful telecommunications company. The company may no longer exist, but it’s valuable intellectual property is still leading the industry years after its collapse.

Categories: I.P. Freely, Legal Buzz
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