Former Nortel Patents Assigned to Texas-Based Rockstar Consortium US Holding Entity
- February 21, 2013
February 21, 2013 – Last week, the USPTO recorded the latest assignments by Rockstar Bidco of five issued US patents and two pending US applications to Texas-based Rockstar Consortium US LP. Rockstar Bidco, the consortium of six companies that successfully bid $4.5 billion in 2011 to acquire the patent portfolio of bankrupt Canadian telecom company Nortel Networks, received a total of 3,852 issued and pending US patents as part of the transaction. Of those, a total of 1,410 were subsequently assigned to consortium participants Apple, Microsoft, and RIM, the largest portion of which went to Apple. To date, Apple reportedly invested $2.6 billion to the transaction and has received 815 issued US patents and 315 pending US applications. RIM, which reportedly contributed $770 million to the transaction, has received 172 issued US patents and 72 pending US applications to date, and Microsoft has received 24 issued US patents and 17 pending US applications, but has not disclosed their financial contribution to the consortium. Other Rockstar Bidco participants EMC, Ericsson, and Sony presumably received licenses to the portfolio, which Ericsson has reportedly contributed $340 million. The seven total issued and pending US patents of last week represent the most recent recordations of a series of assignments to Rockstar Consortium by Rockstar Bidco. Although Rockstar, the licensing entity formed to monetize the Nortel patents and employing a number of its former licensing employees, has yet to initiate any litigation to date, it is likely that the Texas-based LP’s holdings could be the subject of future enforcement efforts, should they take place. Rockstar has also made several (thus far unsuccessful) attempts to sell segments of the portfolio to prospective buyers.