Sisvel is a company you’ve probably never heard of, and to give you an idea of what they do just read their slogan: “We protect ideas.” Yes folks, they’re a patent troll, which is a defined as a company that buys up patents and then proceeds to bring other companies to court for infringing on said patents. They’ve just announced that they’re acquiring 47 patent families from Nokia, giving them more than 450 new patents that they can add to their arsenal. What’s surprising is that 33 of the patent families, which come in at somewhere over 350 patents, are defined by Nokia as essential to 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies.
“Sisvel has been extremely active in recent years working with the wireless industry to provide simplified access to essential wireless patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory, or FRAND, conditions. Acquiring the many essential patents in this key portfolio is a very significant step for Sisvel and a testament to Sisvel’s commitment and determination to succeed in this space. We look forward to offering these essential patents on FRAND terms and to continuing our work within the wireless industry.” – Giustino de Sanctis, CEO of Sisvel
Why on earth is Nokia selling patents that are fundamental to the way the wireless networks of today and tomorrow work? According to Wireless Week Nokia pulled in $640 million in patent fees during the 6 months that made up Q2 and Q3 of 2010. Now Nokia isn’t saying how much money they’re going to get from Sisvel, but one can assume that it’s a hell of a lot of cash. Still, is the short term gain worth it? The Finnish handset maker has stopped making their own smartphone software, is in the process of moving all their factories to Asia, and we just found out that they purchased a company that designs feature phone operating systems so they can start from scratch in the low to mid end device range.
What’s Elop up to?