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Google poaches a federal patent expert, Samsung might bid for InterDigital to fend off Android lawsuits

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Google poaches a federal patent expert, Samsung might bid for InterDigital to fend off Android lawsuits
Google has taken a valuable employee off of Uncle Sam's hands, by hiring FTC's patent specialist Suzanne Michel. She has been with the Federal Trade Commission for a good 11 years now, and her specialty was antitrust and patent issues, so we expect her to jump right smack in the whirlwind of Android litigation.

In fact, Suzanne Michel recently authored a report for the FTC, which gave an overview of the current patent system in the U.S. and what needs to be overhauled to actually promote innovation, instead of patent trolls.

Speaking of those little creatures, Samsung has supposedly been approached to entertaining a bid for InterDigital, which is another exemplary wireless patents holder. InterDigital's CEO recently issued a memo that its collection of patents related to the wireless industry is even stronger than Nortel's one, which received the largest ever patent portfolio payout of $4.5 billion.

We doubt that Samsung will be willing to spend north of $5 billion, as the rumored InterDigital asking price is, not to mention that Google, Apple and others are reported to also sniff around the company. A Google/Samsung combo, however, might do the trick. It's good times for wireless patent holders - InterDigital had $17.2 million net income last quarter, and $5 billion for its patents surely sounds like a princely sum to the CEO.

Samsung is supposedly in the process of examining what exactly InterDigital keeps, so it might be willing to pick and choose some of the 8800 patents. In any case, the little green robot is apparently lining up a patent defense, which has to go a long way fending off the established competition.

source: Bloomberg & LATimes

13 Comments
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posted on 03 Aug 2011, 08:16 6

1. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4433; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


It's a good idea. Apple is so hell bent on stopping Samsung from selling its products because Apple sees Samsungs products as superior to theirs. All the Apple iSheep will rally to say Samsung copied Apple. That is the only major gripe they have. The icons don't look the same at all & the candy bar form is not Apple's anyway. A blind person can feel both phones & say they are different. Apple is so behind the eight ball, that their only course of action is to take Samsung & Google to court. Desperate times = desperate measures for Apple huh? I hope Samsung & Google score these patents so now both Apple & Samsung can concentrate on making phones & move the technology forward!

posted on 03 Aug 2011, 08:44

2. iankellogg (Posts: 155; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


I am by no means an apple lover but most of the actual patents that they are using against samsung are not related to form factor

posted on 03 Aug 2011, 10:14 2

6. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4433; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


One of Apple's gripes with the Samsung Galaxy S II is that they think it looks too much like an iPhone. Both have candy bar form factors so that is why I said what I said. If the Galaxy S II looks like an iPhone, then so does HTC, Motorola, LG, Sony & just about any other candy bar phone out there! That is what I was implying! I could NEVER confuse an iPhone to any other phone, just like I can’t confuse a HTC to a Motorola & vise versa.

posted on 03 Aug 2011, 08:47 2

3. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Its a shame companies have to buy patents JUST to defend themselves from patent lawsuits...

Oh well...

posted on 03 Aug 2011, 08:51 3

4. dionddc (Posts: 129; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)


Google is now showing Apple they have power too. And by teaming up with Samsung - which is larger than Apple - wow. Apple better watch out.

posted on 03 Aug 2011, 09:48 4

5. BenCjamin (Posts: 80; Member since: 13 May 2011)


Well, apple finally did it. They woke the sleeping gaint, Google. Good luck apple you just made a big mistake.

posted on 03 Aug 2011, 11:08

7. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3042; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Yep now things are going to get interesting

posted on 03 Aug 2011, 11:40 3

8. Tmachaveli (Posts: 425; Member since: 01 Apr 2011)


don't pull on superman's cape....

posted on 03 Aug 2011, 11:58 5

9. remixfa (Posts: 14179; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


you piss in the wind and your going to get yourself wet.

Anyone that didnt see Google finally gettin fed up with apple's antics and muscling in was just foolish.

The best result would be for a superteam of Google, HTC, Samsung, and every other android manufacturer to band together and do a class action against apple somehow. Make a group pool to buy up patents like crazy and slap steve jobs in the face with them.

posted on 03 Aug 2011, 14:46

10. PeterIfromsweden (Posts: 1230; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)


Apple vs Google will be interesting to watch : )
Almost as exiting as a Apple vs MS : D

posted on 03 Aug 2011, 14:47 3

11. rocko0011 (Posts: 34; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


Lol i think Steve Jobs is on a secret mission to destroy Apple before he leaves so he setting them up now, and now his plan is coming into effect

posted on 03 Aug 2011, 14:51 1

12. snowgator (Posts: 3303; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


I just want this to come to some kind of head so we can move on. There has to be a general way to handle existing patent cases, and then lay ground work to protect these companies from each other.

On a side note, when I read "In fact, Suzanne Michel recently authored a report for the FTC, which gave an overview of the current patent system in the U.S. and what needs to be overhauled to actually promote innovation, instead of patent trolls.", doesn't that kinda just scream "conflict of interest" to Apple and it's lawyers?

posted on 03 Aug 2011, 19:46

13. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


Really think all this patent thing needs to get sorted out asap...seems like you can patent anything lol no mattet how common or obvious or basic it is....most of the things apple are sueing are ridiculous

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