Ericsson sells wireless patents to Unwired Planet

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Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) sold close to 2,000 wireless patents to Unwired Planet, formerly Openwave Systems, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The deal gives Unwired Planet some potential ammunition in patent battles.

The deal includes patents related to 2G, 3G and LTE technologies, notes TechCrunch. The transaction covers 1,922 issued patents and 263 patent applications covering technology used in "telecommunications infrastructure including signal processing, network protocols, radio resource management, voice/text applications, mobility management, software, hardware and antennas." Of the 1,922 issued patents, 753 are U.S. patents.

Unwired Planet is what was left of Openwave after the firm sold its messaging and mediation businesses to Marlin Equity Partners in April 2012. At the time, Openwave said it would operate under the Unwired Planet brand, and would focus on a mobile communications patent portfolio comprised of 200 issued U.S. and foreign patents and another 75 pending applications.

The structure of the deal means that Ericsson will get revenue from Unwired Planet depending upon how much money Unwired Planet makes from the patents on its own. Unwired Planet is involved in patent disputes with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM).  

Under the deal, Unwired Planet will pay Ericsson revenue it gets from the patents on a quarterly basis as follows: 20 percent of the revenue until it hits $100 million; plus 50 percent of the amount of revenue in excess of $100 million, until the revenue hits $500 million; plus 70 percent of the amount of revenue in excess of $500 million.

For more:
- see this SEC filing
- see this TechCrunch article
- see this ArsTechina article

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