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Here’s what happened to the Nortel patent portfolio

Remember when Apple and Microsoft (along with some other companies) bought Nortel’s patent portfolio? Now they’ve formed a new company that’s in the business of extorting license fees from companies infringing on the patents that they now own. Who’s infringing? Everyone, according to the CEO of the new company formed to turn the patents into cash:

Pretty much anybody out there is infringing. It would be hard for me to envision that there are high-tech companies out there that don’t use some of the patents in our portfolio.

It’s an election year, this is a huge problem that exists entirely within legal realm, and yet there is no coalition working effectively to create change in this system. In the meantime, people are unwittingly working to destroy the technology industry entirely through litigation. In the meantime, nearly all developers go about building things as if patents don’t exist at all.

2 Comments

  1. The href of your “extorting license fees” link is empty.

  2. “In the meantime, nearly all developers go about building things as if patents don’t exist at all.”

    Because of course (even if all patents were valid and legitimate) there is absolutely no way for anyone to tell whether something would actually be infringing.

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