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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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RE: Conspiracy theory No 1
By Tony Swash on 8/10/2012 3:33:57 PM , Rating: 0
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.

What complet and utter bullshit. What a pathetic, weasely excuse.

How pray did this supervision prevent Microsoft from developing a mobile OS or tablet or for that matter an MP3 player that anybody wanted to buy? Did the supervision people say Microsoft 'look we really don't want you to be a monopoly in the mobile world so here is what we are going to make you do: start by releasing a really poor OS for tablets, then do nothing with your tablet OS for, say, five years, then release a really awful phone OS, then ignore the iPhone for a couple of years (you are even allowed to laugh at it in public if you want), then change tack completely and release a reasonable phone OS but way too late and with no apps, then change course again rendering your previous effort redundant, then threaten to release products to directly compete with your own OEM partners, then turn your existing desktop OS inside out to make it like a tocuh OS so that it sucks totally on the desktop and pisses off your existing desktop user base and especially your enterprise partners. Oh and one more thing, change the name of everyhting at the last minute negating all the free PR your got from the tech press. That should do it.

Microsoft is a lumbering bureaucratic dinosaur that can be left unsupervised because they threaten no one except themselves and their poor share holders.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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