Apple, Google, Samsung Eying InterDigital Patents

Apple logoInterDigital may put its patent portfolio up for sale, and Apple, Google and Samsung are all interested in what the company has to offer. InterDigital’s portfolio is especially interesting to the three companies because it includes mobile data transfer patents that could come in handy as smartphone intellectual property legal property battles continue to heat up.

Apparently InterDigital has approached several companies about possibly selling its patent portfolio, according to Bloomberg. The company holds some 8,800 patents that cover technologies used in the iPhone and iPad, Android-based smartphones and RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones, along with tech used in high-speed mobile networks.

Getting ahold of the patent portfolio could be a big deal for Samsung. “The fight between Apple and Samsung is getting serious, so if the assets go to Apple, it could be pretty risky for Samsung,” said Shinyoung Securities analyst Lee Seung Woo. “To hedge the risk, Samsung could go ahead with bidding, although they may have to pay a big premium.”

That premium could be over US$5 billion. All three companies are apparently considering bids on the portfolio, according to anonymous sources.

Just because InterDigital is considering selling its patent portfolio, however, doesn’t mean a deal is guaranteed. The company could decide to to hold onto its intellectual property assets to continue licensing them on its own.