Intel buys up Interdigital wireless patent portfolio

San Diego handset Orange is one of the few operators to back Intel's mobile push

Related Stories

Chip maker Intel has spent $375m (£240m) buying 1,700 patents from hi-tech firm Interdigital.

The patents cover innovations in different wireless technologies used by both computers and mobile phones.

The deal is designed to help Intel's strategy to get its chips used more widely in handsets.

Intel is one of many firms buying portfolios of patents to help negotiations with rivals in the competitive smartphone market.

Court cases

For its cash, Intel has got a wide range of patents covering many of the technologies found and used in smartphones, laptops and other portable computers.

Since it was founded in the early 1970s, Interdigital worked on ways of sending calls and data via wireless.

It holds patents covering widely used technologies, such as third generation mobile (3G) systems, as well as those that are only now starting to be installed in operator networks.

Intel has long had ambitions to get its chips used in mobiles but has struggled to persuade handset makers to back its plans.

In early June, the UK's Everything Everywhere network became one of the first to launch an Intel-branded smartphone. Called the San Diego, the phone has an Intel single-core Atom Z2460 processor inside it.

Beyond the innovations detailed in the patents, by snapping up the patent portfolio Intel will also bolster its negotiating position among mobile rivals.

Patent disputes have been a significant feature of the mobile market in recent months. Rivals have sought to hobble each other by suing over the technologies used in touch screen phones and tablet computers.

Many phone firms, including Apple, Motorola, Google, HTC and Samsung are all involved in litigation kicked off by patent disputes.

Rivals controlling large numbers of patents have sometimes opted to negotiate rather than sue because tit-for-tat legal action could delay the development and launch of new gadgets.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Technology stories



  • Shinji Mikamo as a boy, and Hiroshima bomb cloudLove and the bomb

    The Japanese man who lost everything but found peace

  • Northern League supporters at the party's annual meeting in 2011Padania?

    Eight places in Europe that also want independence

  • scottie dogShow-stealers

    How Scottie dogs became a symbol of Scotland

  • Hamas rally in the West Bank village of Yatta, 2006Hamas hopes

    Why the Palestinian group won't back down yet

  • The outermost coffin of Tutankhamun 'Tut-mania'

    How discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb changed popular culture

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.