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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 cash-strapped Finnish phonemaker Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) 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. (GOOG), AOL, IAC/InterActive Corp. (IACI), Gannett Comp. (GCI), and Target Corp. (TGT), 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. (AAPL) 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 was "broken", singling out non-practicing entities and junk software patents as signs of its demise.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Conspiracy theory No 1
By Tony Swash on 8/10/2012 10:48:25 AM , Rating: -1
This is Nokia's revenge on Microsoft. Nokia was screwed by Microsoft Osborning their existing Windows Phone 7 handsets when they announced no upgrades to WP8 (what's that OS called this week by the way?). Nokia is now a dead man walking and will eventually be bought by Microsoft so why not sell off all the good shit first so Microsoft buys a valueless shell (a form of acquisition that Steve Ballmer specialises in).

If they can fake the moon landings anything is possible.


RE: Conspiracy theory No 1
By bug77 on 8/10/2012 10:54:36 AM , Rating: 3
You do know that WP8 upgrade for a WP7 set makes little sense, don't you? What do you do with multithreading support on a single core device or with SD card support on a phone that has none? There would be some gains, but they'd be minimal anyway.

RE: Conspiracy theory No 1
By Reclaimer77 on 8/10/12, Rating: -1
RE: Conspiracy theory No 1
By bug77 on 8/10/2012 12:01:20 PM , Rating: 2
I was just referring to the apparent problem of not upgrading WP7 sets to WP8. As you have noticed, WP7 phones have been behind their times from the start. While technically Microsoft could put WP8 on them, there would be very little benefit it doing so.
Tony was depicting this a fiasco whereas, if you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, it is only expected.

RE: Conspiracy theory No 1
By ritualm on 8/10/2012 12:21:10 PM , Rating: 2
Very simple reason, actually. It had everything to do with the settlement terms Microsoft reached with the US Department of Justice in the previous decade. There was an entire oversight board installed at Redmond that can dictate what can/not go into its products - it effectively hamstrung whatever MS wanted to do on a whim.

That oversight board expired around this time last year.

RE: Conspiracy theory No 1
By Tony Swash on 8/10/12, Rating: 0
"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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