An interesting consortium of investors that include Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Sony, EMC, and Ericsson have jointly purchased the patent assets of bankrupt telecommunications giant Nortel. Google opened the bidding at $900 Million and the consortium closed with a $4.5 billion winning bid. However, I have to question whether the money is well spent and actually a “win” when it all gets boiled down.
The implications could be as far reaching as the patents themselves, which include:
wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, internet, service provider, semiconductors and other patents. The extensive patent portfolio touches nearly every aspect of telecommunications and additional markets as well, including Internet search and social networking.
On the other hand, patent law has gotten beyond ridiculous, with tech companies litigating on any patent they can possibly conceive might kind of be sort of be getting violated. Even worse, many of these patents are so generic that they shouldn’t have been awarded in the first place. I don’t mean to totally insult the innovation of the companies involved… but the patent war has spun out of control.
In my mind, there is only one solution: send Steve Jobs, Andy Rubin, and the rest of the bigwigs at these companies to Judge Judy. She doesn’t take any crap and I’m sure she’d sort this whole thing out just fine.