Apple-Backed Consortium Reported To Be Selling Patents [Report]


The Rockstar Consortium — a group of several tech companies, including Apple — has reportedly been in talks concerning the sale of a portion of its $4.5 billion worth of patents.

This marks a major turnaround from 2011, when the patents — acquired from the Nortel Networks Corp — were highly sought after. In that instance, Apple and its bidding partners outbid Google for access to more than 4,000 patents.

In November 2012, Cult of Mac reported that $2.6 billion of the total $4.5 billion sum for the purchase came from Apple.

Rockstar began selling some of its patents earlier this year. In July, IP company Spherix Inc. claimed that it acquired a suite of patents from Rockstar for an undisclosed amount, plus $1 million in stock, and an agreement that Rockstar would receive a percentage of future profits.

No executives at Rockstar, Apple or any of the other tech companies in the consortium (which includes Microsoft, Ericsson, BlackBerry and Sony) have commented on the news.

It is not known how many, or which, patents Rockstar is looking to unload — although it is reported that none are currently involved in litigation against Google, Samsung and other companies.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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