Nokia Sells 500 Patents for $22M USD, Buyer Plans to Start Suing Soon
August 9, 2012 9:46 PM
comment(s) - last by
Patents go towards a mobile firm who recent merged with a well-known patent troll whose already sued Google once
How much do 500 patents covering complex third and fourth generation wireless algorithms and hardware go for these days? The answer, for
Finnish phonemaker Nokia Oyj. (
) is apparently $22M USD.
Nokia sold the patents to Vringo. Vringo was founded in 2006 as a mobile software firm, and has specialized in delivering content to mobile devices. However, in 2012 it switched gears, merging with Innovate/Protect Inc. a notorious
patent monger/non-practicing entity (NPE)
. That company in 2011 successfully sued Google Inc. (
), AOL, IAC/InterActive Corp. (
), Gannett Comp. (
), and Target Corp. (
), among others, using a pair of patents acquired from near-defunct search site Lycos.
Of the 500 patents handed to the "troll", 109 are U.S. patents. And just to eliminate any ambiguity, Vringo said it was eager to soon start on a campaign of lawsuits and forced licensing.
The NPE estimates it could make $31.2M USD from Nokia's patents, almost a 50 percent return on its investment.
Nokia has a history of being a chaotic-bringer in the world of intellectual property. The company
personally started the mobile patent war
by suing Apple, Inc. (
) in 2009, eventually reaching
a favorable settlement
. More recently it has transferred some patents (at no charge)
to affiliated non-practicing entities (trolls)
to sue its smartphone rivals.
Given the filing dates, Vringo says the patents should be good for another 6.7 years, on average.
One of the U.S. foremost senior intellectual property experts --
Judge Richard A. Posner
, a sitting judge on the
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
who occasionally moonlights as a judge in Chicago's
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
-- recently declared that the U.S. intellectual property system
, singling out non-practicing entities and junk software patents as signs of its demise.
The Wall Street Journal
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Why does this work?
8/10/2012 8:52:39 AM
Aren't most judgements in IP cases valued at some measure of revenue or profits that the patent-holder lost due to infringement? If so, how can an NPE be spearheading a legal campaign when it was never likely to see any profits from the implementation of the patent in the first place?
If I/P Inc. can't prove damages, the suit should be summarily dismissed, and I/P Inc. should be required to cover court and legal fees as a penalty for wasting everyone's time.
RE: Why does this work?
8/10/2012 10:52:15 AM
<perverse logic>The money lost will be the investments to buy those patents. They must get a return on those investments or they will suffer a loss.</perverse logic>
RE: Why does this work?
8/10/2012 2:47:24 PM
Sure, an argument with supporting evidence can be persuasive toward a favorable decision. In this case, the troll's proof of sale and a little tidbit such as, "Nokia lacked the resources to protect its IP," or whatever these couch potatoes decide to use as a rationale.
BTW- I'm not arguing, I'm agreeing with your choice of calling it
Only thing stopping this troll for a "return on its investment" is that (however unlikely) the judges get sick of mobile companies using up too much court time and suspend these types of patent/trademark cases until something gets reformed or revised- don't ask me what, not my area of expertise.
“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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