Rockstar Consortium, a patent-holding company jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony among others, has agreed to sell much of its portfolio to patent risk management firm RPX, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The deal will see RPX pay around $900 million for over 4,000 patents. In addition, Rockstar will also put to rest all ongoing litigation, including lawsuits against several tech giants, including LG, HTC, Samsung, and Huawei.
RPX plans to license the patents to a separate syndicate of more than 30 companies, including Google, Cisco, and more, which have funded a significant proportion of the $900 million the San Francisco-based firm paid. "This is the biggest syndicate of its kind and its formation proves that companies can actually collaborate in...cooperative licensing at scale," said RPX CEO John Amster.
Rockstar was formed back in 2011 with an aim to buy the patent portfolio of bankrupt Nortel Networks. It paid around $4.5 billion for the portfolio of 6,000 patents, of which around 2,000 were distributed among the consortium members. Interestingly, those 2,000 were among some of the “most valuable” ones in the portfolio, and are also not part of the deal.