While the patent wars continue to rage on, a recent move by Nokia may signal an aggressive new stance on handling patent infringement. Canadian IP firm Mosaid has announced a strategic purchase through which they gain control of nearly 2,000 patents out of Nokia’s library. The price tag for such a hefty acquisition? Absolutely nothing.
The patents, while originally filed by Nokia, were in the possession of Luxembourg-based Core Wireless Licensing. As the new owner of the patents, Mosaid will spin Core Wireless off into its own entity to handle licensing and litigation of Nokia’s technologies. Instead of having to pay out of pocket for Core Wireless, an agreement has been struck to split the income generated from licensing agreements and settlements against patent infringers.
Mosaid’s share of the proceeds will be 1/3, with the remaining funds going to Nokia and Microsoft respectively.
Of the roughly 2,000 patents Mosaid now has in their vault, CEO John Lindberg claims that a full 1,215 of them are viewed as essential to the use and operation of wireless systems — much more than the 500 found among Nortel’s patents. With his company looking at a potential hostile buyout by local competitor WiLAN, the acquisition may help to stave off that bit of corporate unpleasantness. Still, the fact that Mosaid is currently teetering on the edge of being acquired may actually help Nokia in the long run.
Big companies have been on the receiving end of Nokia’s patent-related ire, with Apple being one of the Finnish company’s most recent targets. Now that the Nokia’s financial performance is tied to that of Mosaid and the Core, Nokia has a pretty slick deal going. It would be in Mosaid’s best interest to play the bulldog and aggressively pursue not only licensing opportunities, but hefty settlements against companies that infringe on the Nokia patents. Meanwhile, Nokia benefits from whatever Mosaid manages to bring in, but without looking like they’re going on a wild suing spree. Well played.