There were a few eyebrows raised but it cleared the regulators because Apple and Microsoft promised to be very good proprietary companies and not patent troll rivals into oblivion.
Now it seems that after the deal went through, the six cherry picked the patents they wanted and then decided to support a new patent troll armed with the remaining 4,000 patents.
Rockstar is run by those who used to run Nortel’s patent licensing program but appears to be hiring those whose only job is to find people to sue.
These include engineers who spend their days looking at products to find evidence of infringement.
When it is found, the company documents it, contacts the manufacturer, and demands licensing fees for the patents in question.
According to Tech Dirt, in the last two months, Rockstar has started negotiations with as many as 100 potential licensees.
The patent portfolio covers core wireless communications technologies such as LTE and 3G and so it is set to make a killing.
Nortel bought most of the patents for “defensive” reasons and it looks like they are now being used to be as offensive as possible.
Rockstar’s CEO, John Veschi said that people are surprised to see the quality and the diversity of the IP that was in Nortel.
The companies behind Rockstar are Apple and Microsoft who are going to use it to stop competitors from “innovating”.
When the Nortel patents were stuck up for sale there were concerns about them being used by Apple and Microsoft in this way. However the pair re-assured watchdogs that they would license the key patents under “reasonable terms.”
However, according to Veschi, Rockstar is not subject to that agreement and it can hammer who it likes.
We would have thought that there are a few watchdogs who might be growling that they have been taken for a ride.