May 28, 2012, 11:35 AM —
Nortel patents bought by Apple, Microsoft fuel new troll claiming control of technologies such as 3G.
Wired magazine calls Rockstar Consortium's portfolio "4,000 Patent Warheads" designed to troll on behalf of Microsoft and Apple, doing their dirty work while keeping them out of countersuits. Since Rockstar is a 32-person company with no products, there is no way their targets can trade patents to settle the implied threat of lawsuits. Unless Rockstar's targets sue them for illegally reverse-engineering their products to discover patent infractions.
Much like the researchers at Bell Labs, IBM, or Xerox's PARC, Nortel's engineers worked on fundamentals of technologies that run the world today. Management incompetence and alleged malfeasance bankrupted Nortel in 2009. Apple and Microsoft spent $4.5 billion for those patents, and indications are they intend to recoup their investment and more at the expense of Google and others, especially in the smartphone business.
More evidence of a broken patent system
I think the REAL issue, is that they lock up IDEAS. Ideas by themselves are inherently worthless.