Apple Patent Consortium Rockstar Reportedly Planning to Sell Patent Portfolio

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Rockstar, a consortium created by Apple, Microsoft, and other tech companies in 2011 to acquire $4.5 billion worth of patents from Nortel Networks, is reportedly discussing to sell a portion of those patents.

Rockstar Consortium has recently been in conversations about selling the patents with possible buyers. Rockstar, which also includes BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony, has had little success with landing large licensing deals for their patents.

The first reported discussions started in 2011 after Apple and its bidding partners outbid Google for Nortel’s patents. The deal which was approved in 2012 gave Rockstar access to about 4,000 patents.

In July, intellectual-property company Spherix Inc. said it acquired a suite of patents from Rockstar. Spherix paid an undisclosed amount of cash and $1 million in stock, plus Rockstar will receive a percentage of future profits.

Apple has access to the IP pool as a Rockstar backer. It was reported that in 2012 Apple quietly acquired a number of patents from the consortium and it appears they want full rights to certain properties. The nature of the patents still remain unclear. Nortel’s patent list included a large variety of properties covering many fields, including Internet services, communications hardware, and wireless technologies.

In October, Rockstar sued several companies including Google, Samsung, and others, seeking past and future damages for infringement of IP regarding Internet search terms.

[via Bloomberg Technology]