By Jordan Crook
Now, Google is still in the mix along with Apple (AAPL), but according to people familiar with the matter, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) has also entered into talks with InterDigital. The South Korea based company has expressed interest in possibly placing a bid on this gem of a patent portfolio, reports Bloomberg.
I’m not quite sure how to put this in perspective, but if you aren’t caught up with all the patent fights and the Nortel saga, it’s necessary that I stress just how crucial this is. InterDigital’s patent portfolio eats Nortel’s portfolio for breakfast. In fact, many believe that Google only tinkered around with Nortel to drive up the price for its competitors while it waited in the wings for something bigger and better.
Well, here it is. Bigger and better has arrived, but there just so happens to be a little competition heating up over this patent treasure chest. Mostly related to the transfer of information over mobile technology, InterDigital’s patent portfolio is basically a gold mine in the eyes of these phone makers. And we know a sale is most definitely on its way, as InterDigital recently hired a few bankers to handle the transaction.
If Samsung chooses to move forward with a bid, it could take some or all of the portfolio from Google and Apple. This would be a huge boost to the South Korea-based company that is currently entangled in a massive patent war with Apple. InterDigital’s patents cover inventions used in devices like the iPhone, Google’s Android OS and even Research In Motion’s (RIMM) BlackBerries. Scooping up the rights to that technology has the potential to swing the entire litigation in Samsung’s favor.
However, if Apple snags the portfolio, Samsung is in a risky situation. Though no game-changing legal rulings have been issued, this lawsuit has reached critical mass, with both companies trying to ban imports of the others’ products. InterDigital’s portfolio will most definitely influence this case, although in whose favor has yet to be decided.