01.19.12

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Under Microsoft Leadership, Nokia Patents Passed to Patent Aggressor Sisvel, Likely Target is Android

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 11:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Two calls

Summary: Sisvel’s bullies appear at the scene amid Nokia-Microsoft flirtations and rumours of a buyout

THE great patent farce keeps yielding more stories for us to highlight.

While patent people get promoted, us technical people have less left to do at technical companies. Rather than see companies emerging we just see litigating proxies like MOSAID (patent lawyers) and Sisvel (we have no wiki page for these patent combatants but many past articles [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14) showing up as external agents for the Microsoft-controlled Nokia:

Patent licensing outfit Sisvel has acquired 450 patents from Nokia, 350 of which are essential for mobile telephony, but despite appearances this is no desperate attempt to borrow cash from the future.

The patents include 350 which are considered “essential”, in that it is impossible to create mobile phones conforming to 2G, 3G and/or 4G telephony standards without infringing them. But as such they are also subject to Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing – hardly the sort of thing a patent troll would be interested in.

Now there is whitewash from Forbes:

What Sisvel is actually doing is taking over from Nokia (as it also does for some other companies) the boring and paperwork full process of licencing the patents. And for those who want to bring a new line of handsets to market, providing a one stop shop where they can sign up with Sisvel once and once only to get all of the patents they need. Or access to licences on those patents that is.

Utter nonsense. All that Sisvel does is tax the public and in this case its target is likely to be Android phones. It’s an old proxy tactic.

Patent purchases seem to have become common recently (especially when companies implode) and this latest one has coverage that says:

Cinven buys ICG’s patents business for £950m

[...]

Shares in ICG, known predominantly for its junior debt funds that back buy-out deals, edged up 3.8p to 250.7p.

The patents arms race is affecting everyone because the market gets distorted and customers bear all the costs. Patents create unnecessary jobs and slow down innovation by reducing the number of engineers a company is able to afford. The most disturbing thing is that, just as we predicted from the very start, Microsoft uses the patents of Nokia pioneers to attack Microsoft’s competition.

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