Last year, Apple joined forces with Microsoft, Research in Motion, and Sony to form the “Rockstar Bidco consortium,” which outbid Google for more than 6,000 Nortel patents covering wireless and LTE technologies. Together, the consortium paid $4.5 billion for the portfolio, most of which — around $2.6 billion — came from Apple.
However, the Cupertino company has reportedly been quietly handing over more cash to secure sole ownership of select patents.
The Korea Intellectual Property Protection Association announced on Tuesday that Apple has acquired 1,024 patents from Rockstar Bidco, 695 of which have already been registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. The rest are in the process of being registered, according to a report from Yonhap News, South Korea’s largest news agency.
It’s unknown how many of those patents are related to telecommunications, but you can bet that’s exactly what Apple’s most interested in. Of course, these patents will give the Cupertino company further ammunition against rival smartphone vendors like Samsung and HTC. Only time will tell whether Apple actually intends to use them in the courtroom.