Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Microsoft's Phoney Patents

After a brief and inelegant pas de deux, Microsoft Corporation has decided to dance solo by spending $US 7.17 billion for Nokia Corporation's mobile phone business and intellectual property.  In its latest effort to become a contender in mobile phones, Microsoft announced on September 3, 2013, that it would acquire both Nokia's "devices and services business" ($US 4.99 billion) and a "broad intellectual property license" ($US 2.17 billion).  Naturally, patents are at the heart of this massive bet.  Microsoft will acquire 8,500 design patents and a license to roughly 30,000 utility patents and patent applications.  Whatever its future as a purveyor of services and devices, Microsoft has now solidified its status as one of the premier patent hegemons.