WTO Intellectual Property
Graphics chip maker Nvidia Corp. and US patents company Intellectual Ventures jointly acquired a portfolio of 500 wireless communications patents from IPWireless on 14 of May 2012.
The sale comes just days after General Dynamics declared that it will acquire the parent company of IP Wireless, which provides 3G and 4G LTE wireless broadband network equipment and solutions.
The patent portfolio comprises approximately 500 patents granted and pending in the wireless communications, including essential concepts in LTE, LTE-Advanced and 3G/4G technologies.
Nvidia, traditionally known for its graphics processors for PCs, has been expanding into the market for chips used in mobile phones through acquisitions and by investing heavily in developing core processors.
Nvidia bought UK-based Icera for $367 million last year to gain a foothold in the market for baseband or radio chips - which are used to connect devices to cellular networks.
Wireless broadband network equipment provider IPWireless is selling the patents after General Dynamics agreed to buy its parent company, IPW Holdings, last week.
Terms of the acquisition, which closed on 30th April 2012, were not disclosed.
Ownership of the patents has been split between Nvidia and Intellectual Ventures, with Nvidia licensing the rights to those patents that it did not acquire.
As part of the acquisition, IPWireless retains perpetual, royalty-free access to these patents.
Retaining access to this patent portfolio allows IPWireless to continue developing its market-leading products and serving its customers now and in the future. In addition, IPWireless will continue investing and innovating in 4G LTE and other areas of wireless IP.
Presently, Google is buying phone-maker Motorola Mobility for its 17000 patents and 7500 patent applications, as it looks to compete with rivals such as Apple.
A consortium comprising of Apple, Microsoft, Research In Motion and others paid $4.5 billion in a hotly contested auction of bankrupt Nortel's patents last year.
Nvidia is an American global technology company based in Santa Clara, California. Nvidia is best known for its graphics processing units (GPUs).
Intellectual Ventures is a private company notable for being one of the top-five owners of U.S. patents, as of 2011. Its business model has a focus on developing a large patent portfolio and licensing these patents to companies.