Mobile internet innovator Unwired Planet, formerly Openwave Systems, has acquired more than 2,000 registered patents and pending applications from Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson. The deal is expected to provide Unwired Planet with additional ammunition in its ongoing litigation with Apple, Google and others while affording Ericsson a share of future licensing revenues.
According to Ars Technica, nearly 97 percent of U.S. mobile phones were running some form of Openwave web browser at the start of the century. The intervening years have not been quite as kind to the company, however, as Research In Motion, Apple and Google surged ahead in mobile market share.
As a result, Openwave ultimately sold off its operating parts in 2012 and retained its patent portfolio under a new entity named Unwired Planet. The company has since filed several suits demanding damages and royalties from what it believes are infringing competitors. According to ZDNet, the Ericsson deal provides Unwired Planet with more than 750 patents related to 2G, 3G and LTE wireless technology which could prove pivotal in future litigation.
"We look forward to leveraging a strong, multi-dimensional patent portfolio and furthering discussions with key industry players who are interested in licensing these inventions to protect and further build their product strategies," Unwired Planet CEO Mike Mulica explained.
According to ZDNet, Ericsson will receive 20 percent of all related licensing revenues up to $100 million, 50 percent from royalties between $100 million and $500 million and 70 percent of anything above that.