Microsoft Plus Nokia: Pending Patent Troll?

Simon Phipps | InfoWorld | September 3, 2013

Nokia's large patent portfolio could be a powerful weapon in Microsoft's war on archrival Google

While the focus of the news of Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's devices businesses is the future of Microsoft as an Apple clone, there's another story too. What's left at Nokia? Not much -- Microsoft is taking both the traditional mobile phone and smartphone businesses. According to Nokia's press release, there's a mapping data business, a technology business providing phone companies with infrastructure, and a substantial patent portfolio.

While the network equipment business is significant, it's the patent portfolio that raises the most interesting questions. Instead of acquiring the patents related to the device business as might be expected, Microsoft is merely licensing them and leaving Nokia in possession of the actual patents. The license is nonexclusive, and Nokia is free to use them any way it wishes.