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Smartphone patent wars start to cool as Rockstar Consortium sells its remaining patent portfolio for $900 million

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In yet another sign of consensus among smartphone manufacturers regarding patent battles, Rockstar Consortium, patent holding company owned by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony and Ericsson is selling its remaining patents to RPX Corp for $900 million, reports WSJ.

Rockstar was formed in 2011 when Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony joined together to purchase patents from bankrupt communications company Nortel Networks. The consortium purchased 6,000 patents. While 4,000 patents were with Rockstar, the remaining 2,000 patents being distributed to other member companies.

The deal involves the aforementioned companies selling 4,000 patents to RPX, a patent broker, which in turn will issue licenses to another group of about 30 tech companies, which includes Google and Cisco. The 2,000 patents which were previously distributed to various Rockstar owners and are not part of this deal.

As a part of this deal, Rockstar has agreed to drop its existing lawsuits against Android smartphone companies, including Samsung, LG and HTC.

Erich Andersen, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Microsoft, said in a statement,

We joined Rockstar to ensure that both Microsoft and our industry would have broad access to the Nortel patent portfolio, and we’re pleased to have accomplished that goal through this sale and our valuable license to the patents being sold

John A. Amster, Chief Executive and Co-founder of RPX, said,

We are pleased to act as a clearinghouse and underwrite an agreement between the owners of Rockstar and our syndicate of licensees. Leading technology companies from multiple industries came together to shape this transaction. We commend everyone involved for their leadership and commitment to clearing the risk of the Rockstar portfolio by negotiating a reasonable purchase price in one efficient transaction.


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