The patent arms race is far from over, it would appear, with the likes of Apple Inc, Qualcomm Inc and Nokia all sniffing around the assets of wireless telecommunications specialist InterDigital Inc.
According to Reuters, even heavyweight Google is still in the running to scoop up this latest patent portfolio, which could inflate its value somewhat as firms try to outbid each other.
The auction for the patents was supposed to have taken place next week but has now been pushed out until after Labor Day to give potential buyers more time to do their due diligence.
Google’s sudden purchase of Motorola Mobility on Monday put a damper on InterDigital’s plans, and saw its value yo-yo, dropping 23% when the news was announced, and later bounding up 12.2%, and finally settling back to 6.8% and $68.41 per share on Wednesday.
With Google now the proud owner of some 17,000 patents from Motorola Mobility, however, it remains to be seen whether the web giant’s appetite has been satiated, or whether the sting from losing out on the Nortel patent bids to Apple and co remains too painful to miss another opportunity for a further 8,800 patents.
InterDigital is thought to have particularly key patents in the areas of 3G, 4G and LTE, with over half the current players in the 3G market licensing InterDigital technology in some form or other. It’s 4G patents, however, remain largely untouched.