Oracle is at the precipice. It's attempt to prove infringement of its patents by Google has failed, according to a California jury, in spite of what was described as the "smoking gun" email. Now we are down to the damages phase of the trial, yet all we are looking at is one count of copyright infringement, covered by statutory damages, and we are still awaiting the determination of whether or not "fair use" applied, which would render that one count moot.
What happened to the Nortel patents won in the auction that started the great IP value awareness craze?According to Wired's Robert McMillan, the patents are now being managed in a pure NPE (non-practicing entity or "patent troll"), seeking maximum return on investment from patent sales and royalty-bearing licenses. The new company is Rockstar Consortium, with 32 employees, many of whom are trained in reverse engineering so that new products can taken apart to see if they infringe on the over 4,000 patents acquired from Nortel. McMillan says this approach has led to requests for over 100 licenses over the past two months. It's early yet, and Rockstar Consortium hasn't sued anyone yet, but certainly the threat of litigation will benefit them in license negotiations.
John Veschi is the CEO of Rockstar. He came from Nortel, so he knew what that had in their IP (some 9,000 patents in all). It does point out ownership is only half the strategy; IP management is the key.