Apple and Google are in a new bidding war to secure mobile patents, Bloomberg reports.
The two companies are said to be looking at InterDigital, a mobile design company. In April, InterDigital’s CEO said his company’s patent portfolio was “deeper and stronger” than Nortel’s.
Mobile patents have become a big weakness for Google and Android.
While most people think of Android as a free operating system, it’s developing a fee as manufacturers deal with patent lawsuits. As Steve Ballmer said, “Android has a patent fee. It’s not like Android’s free.”
HTC is paying Microsoft $5 for every Android phone it sells according to Citi. Microsoft is trying to squeeze $15 per Android handset out of Samsung, too.
It’s not just Microsoft. Apple is also filing lawsuits like crazy. The ITC recently ruled that HTC was infringing on Apple’s patents, a decision that HTC is appealing.
If Google is going to protect itself it might have to pay big bucks for InterDigital.