Here we go again. According to Bloomberg, Google and Apple are among the companies looking to acquire InterDigital’s patent war chest. As you all know, Google recently lost Nortel’s patent bid at the last minute. Apple decided to join forces with Microsoft, RIM and others to outbid Google. Yes, these days Apple is palling around with Microsoft and RIM just so it can annoy Google.
Well, Nortel is not the only company out there with a massive patent portfolio. In fact, InterDigital’s patents are “deeper and stronger” than Nortel’s, according to InterDigital CEO William Merritt. The company has around 1,300 patents related to mobile technologies. That should be more than enough to fend off the patent trolls Android is facing.
It’s interesting to see Apple, and not Microsoft, really interested in blocking Google from acquiring any patents. I could see Microsoft trying to pull this, since there are financial incentives for the company to do so. (See: Microsoft makes a lot of money from Android). But Apple doesn’t make money by preventing Google from getting these patents. Microsoft’s tactics may be evil, but at least they’re doing it to make money. Apple, on the other hand, is just trying to hurt Android.
Just yesterday, we told you what Eric Schmidt thinks about this whole patent infringement mess. To summarie, he’s not too worried about it and believes it’s just “legal fun.” However, the fact that Google and Apple are constantly locking horns over this issue tells me otherwise. Why would Google start hiring patent experts if it wasn’t for an all-out patent war behind closed doors?
Whatever the case may be, we’ll surely be following this battle very closely with hopes that Google manages to win.